To: SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment
(9205 Southpark Center Loop #400, Orlando, FL 32819)
Necropsy of wild animals is essential in conservation. Sea mammals of key interest include the orca or ‘killer whale’. Tilikum, a famous captive orca presented to the public as education for over 31 years, is regularly described as an ambassador representing the wild orcas of the sea, from which the public can learn more about the species.
Now the public wishes to accurately learn about Tilikum’s end of life. The necropsy to be performed after he dies will complete what he has to offer the world.
Please provide Tilikum’s necropsy report to the public upon completion. Transparency is highly important to a world of environmental researchers, marine ecology students, and SeaWorld’s own vast customer base. Critical biological education should not be limited to employees and connections of SeaWorld.
Transparency in sharing necropsy results was once a federal requirement. We now ask you to provide it voluntarily in our mutual interest to further conservation efforts.
Thank you, SeaWorld, for addressing this important request for public release of necropsy.
Dolphin Freedom Foundation
824 SW 13th St.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33315
Russ Rector has posted a Change.org petition similar to his letter above at http://tinyurl.com/houevfa.
Rector in 2012, after years of pursuing Freedom of Information Act requests, obtained 1,057 pages of documents pertaining to the 1992 SeaWorld purchase of Tilikum and two female orcas, Haida and Nootka, from the now defunct Sealand of the Pacific marine mammal park in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
Tilkum, reportedly now gravely ill, had in 1991 drowned trainer Keltie Byrne, 20, before a crowd of Sealand visitors. After Tilikum was transferred to the SeaWorld park in San Antonio, Texas, he killed a night intruder in 1999. Transferred again, to the SeaWorld park in Orlando, Florida, he killed trainer Dawn Brancheau before an audience on February 24, 2010.
The 2013 hit film Blackfish centered on Brancheau’s death. The release of Blackfish immediately preceded a year-long SeaWorld attendance slide.