WASHINGTON, DC: Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano confirmed that Tilikum, the killer whale under investigation for a murder at Sea World, has been under surveillance since 1998, and has been on the “no-fly” list since 2001.
The Organization of Really Caring Animals (ORCA), a worldwide group of killer whales, has released the following statement about the violent attack of a human trainer at Florida’s Sea World theme park:
Yesterday, a terribly violent attack on a human was perpetrated by Tilikum, a mature male “killer whale”, the largest in residence at Sea World. Our hearts go out to the trainer’s family, and we express deep sadness about the incident. Tilikum was a rogue, antisocial creature, with numerous mental and financial problems. We do not in any way condone the behavior of Tilikum, and we feel that he does not represent our species, as we are a peace-loving group of mammals.
We would also like to set the record straight: first of all, we are not whales. We are the largest variety of dolphin, and we are technically called Orcinus Orca, as opposed to the slur “killer whale”. We happen to like to eat whales, and the implication is that we are uncivilized cannibals. This is simply not true. Our kind has been around for almost 11 million years, and has had very little direct interaction with humans until the advent of captive Orcas, and your theme parks. Since the 1970’s, there have been only two dozen Orca attacks, and three of them involved poor, misguided, defective Tilikum. These incidents are clearly exceptions to our otherwise peaceful lives.
We look forward to continuing to educate the public about Orcas, and encourage an ongoing dialogue to address any concerns as they arise.