Published by Beth Silvia.

In 2013, Tilikum, who was one of the more than 20 orcas then held captive at SeaWorld, reached celebrity status worldwide as the subject of the stunning documentary Blackfish. The stardom (his) and infamy (SeaWorld’s) that followed put an important spotlight on his sad life, and his recent death was the culmination of a miserable lifetime of confinement, making it all the more tragic. Celebrities from all fields—including actors, musicians, athletes, and politicians—took to social media to express their sadness over his captivity and death, and some said they were grateful that he’s finally free:


Even in the years before Tilikum’s death, celebrities—propelled by Blackfish and his story—used their expansive reach on social media to echo the public’s growing sentiment that keeping orcas in captivity is reprehensible:

Compassionate people everywhere are pushing SeaWorld to begin the process of releasing the orcas it holds captive into coastal sanctuaries, where they could have some semblance of the natural life that the marine park has denied them.

Only in death is Tilikum finally free. But for the other orcas stuck in abusement parks, there’s still a chance for a happy ending. Use the link below to join us in pushing SeaWorld to do right by these long-suffering animals and release them into seaside sanctuaries—and encourage your friends and family to do the same. Let’s hope Tilikum’s death is the last for exploited orcas.

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