Tilikum, the killer whale who inspired the documentary Blackfish, has sadly died. The whale was captured in 1983 at Hafnarfjörður, near Reykjavík, and has spent most of his life at the Sea World resort in Orlando, Florida.
“We’re saddened to announce the passing of Tilikum, a beloved member of the SeaWorld family for 25 years,” an official statement read.
Tilikum is said to have battled some “very serious health issues” in the months before his death, according to the statement.
“While the official cause of death will not be determined until the necropsy is completed, the SeaWorld veterinarians were treating a persistent and complicated bacterial lung infection,” SeaWorld said.
“The suspected bacteria is part of a group of bacteria that is found in water and soil both in wild habitats and zoological settings.”
The announcement was made on Twitter, early Friday morning (6th January) by Sea World themselves.
— SeaWorld (@SeaWorld) January 6, 2017