Wednesday, March 28, 2012

CRACKED reminds me that I have met Tilikum, the Ted Bundy Killer Whale.

First the article...



The Time: 1991 to today

The Place: Canada to Orlando, Florida

Once upon a time in Sealand, a Canadian water park, there was a killer whale named Tilikum, which means "friend" in the Chinook language. Stick with us, the irony will set in shortly.

Tilikum, seen here waiting.

Tilikum was 11 years old and weighed a strapping 12,000 pounds. He was a perfectly friendly, trick-performing gigantic whale, with enough charm and personality to disarm everyone who worked with him. By all accounts, there was not one shred of malice in his flippered body. That is, until one day he dragged a female grad student underwater after she fell into his tank.

Tilikum blocked the panicked woman from exiting his tank and tossed her body around with his two female tank mates. The girl was killed, but since this was his first offense, Sealand chalked the killing up to a terrible accident and didn't hold Tilikum accountable.

"Sometimes at night he stares at me, rubs his blowhole and mouths 'Soon.' Do you think we might have a problem?"

Sealand eventually went out of business, and Tilikum was moved to SeaWorld in Orlando. He won over that community as well with his tricks and his charm, and seemed every bit the fun-loving performer he was before. Then in 1999, an irresistible opportunity wandered into the park. That opportunity was a 27-year-old homeless man who sneaked in after hours to visit his favorite whale.

What happened next is open to speculation, but by the time the park opened the following morning, said homeless man was found lying dead and naked on the whale's back. Almost as if he was posed that way.

"I'm gonna nod off for a while. Roll me over if I puke."

Two mysterious deaths weren't quite enough to negate the giant stacks of money whale-watchers forked over to watch Tilikum perform tricks on a daily basis. He stayed at SeaWorld, and another 11 years passed without incident. Then, in February 2010, in front of a packed crowd of 5,000 people, Tilikum threw a wet fart into the face of subtlety and snatched his trainer off of dry land.

Eyewitness reports differ, but depending on who you believe, Tilikum either pulled his trainer into the water while she was rubbing him down or leaped up and snatched her while she was standing near his tank. All the reports end pretty much the same way, with Tilikum drowning his trainer for no reason. The report also goes on to deliver the immortal quote "The normally docile whale had killed twice before," suggesting that they are perhaps unclear on the meaning of the words "normally" and "docile."

And also "killed."


As of March 30, 2011, Tilikum is still performing at SeaWorld...

For the rest read CRACKED  5 Terrifying Serial Killers Who Happened to Be Animals


Now my personal anecdote


My missus and I had just moved to Florida and the first place we visited was SeaWorld. 

Again the killer whales were my main source of facination- again I blame that damned Richard Harris movie- imagine that Tilkum was found using a homeless stoner as a play toy the very next day...

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