Sea World has gone way, way over the top (down past the bottom) in its treatment of Tilikum since the OSHA report on Dawn Brancheau’s death, with its criticism and paltry fine, came down a week ago. Instead of providing Tilikum with as much stimulation and company as possible, given the OSHA requirement that trainers no longer be able to personally interact with him, Sea World has him in solitary confinement, totally without stimulation. Beyond being tossed food from a distance, he is reduced to gnawing his remaining teeth on the bars of his cage in order to feel something.
Here is a current report on Tillicum, received today:
I have some friends who went to visit Tilikum yesterday and their report is quite sad. They obtained free passes and spent 2 days with him. On Monday, prior to closing the park, they moved him into the dine with shamu pool by himself. My friends watched him in the pool the entire day, from 9:30AM – 6:30PM. During this time he had no interaction with any other orcas. Trainers came by 3 times to feed him and then left. No play, no toys, nothing beyond food. They said he spent the overwhelming majority of his time logging in the corner the entire day. The only time he really moved was when he heard the music from the stadium, swam to the gate to look, and then started chewing on the bars with what is left of his teeth.
Although SW is publically telling people about all the interaction he is getting with the other orcas and with stimulation from trainers, my friends’ report seems quite the opposite and it is just heartbreaking.
It’s enough to make one’s blood boil. How dare they?