Tilikum is a bull orca who currently lives in captivity at Seaworld, Florida. He has been involved in the deaths of three people during his time in captivity, two female trainers and a man trespassing at Seaworld overnight.
Keltie Byrne - On February 20th 1991, the 20-year-old part-time Sealand trainer slipped into the pool containing Tilikum, Haidi II and Nootka IV while working at a show. The three orcas submerged her, dragging her around the pool and preventing her from surfacing. At one point she reached the side and tried to climb out but, as horrified visitors watched from the sidelines, the orcas pulled her screaming back into the pool. Other trainers responded to her screams, throwing her a life-ring, but the orcas kept her away from it. She surfaced three times screaming before drowning and it was several hours before her body could be recovered from the pool. Tilikum was moved to SeaWorld, Florida on January 9th 1992. Sealand closed soon afterward.
Daniel P. Duke - On July 6th 1999, a 27-year-old man named Daniel P. Dukes was found dead and naked, draped over Tilikum’s back when staff arrived to open the park in the morning. Dukes had visited SeaWorld the previous day, hidden in the park after close and evaded security cameras to enter the orca tank. An autopsy found numerous wounds, contusions, and abrasions covering his body, including postmortem avulsion of the testes. The medical examiner reports that no drugs or alcohol were found in Dukes’ system.
Dawn Brancheau - On February 24th 2010, Tilikum was involved in a third incident when he killed Dawn Brancheau, a 40-year-old trainer following a show. The trainer was rubbing Tilikum as part of a post-show routine when the whale grabbed her and pulled her into the water. At least a dozen patrons witnessed Brancheau in the water with Tilikum. Brancheau’s autopsy indicated death by drowning and blunt force trauma. The autopsy noted that her spinal cord was severed and she had sustained fractures to her jawbone, ribs, and a cervical vertebra. She had been scalped and her left arm had been pulled off below the shoulder.
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SMASHING PUMPKINS 1992