SeaWorld says Tilikum, a killer whale with a troubled local past, died Friday morning

SeaWorld has announced that Tilikum, a killer whale with a troubled local past, died Friday morning.

On their website SeaWorld says the official cause of death will not be determined until a necropsy is completed, but veterinarians were treating a persistent and complicated bacterial lung infection. It’s estimated the whale was about 36 years old.

Tilikum was well known after being featured in the documentary “Blackfish,” but here in Victoria Tilikum was known as one of three whales involved in the tragic death of 21-year-old trainer Keltie Byrne at the now defunct Sealand of the Pacific in Oak Bay. That happened in 1991 and shortly afterwards Tilikum was moved to Seaworld in Orlando, where the whale was involved in two other deaths.

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