SeaWorld has announced that Tilikum the Orca whale has died

SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida has announced that Tilikum the Orca whale has died. 

The star of Blackfish passed away early Friday morning surrounded by trainers, care staff and veterinarians.

“Tilikum had, and will continue to have, a special place in the hearts of the SeaWorld family, as well as the millions of people all over the world that he inspired,” said President & CEO of SeaWorld Joel Manby.

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Tilikum was profiled in the popular documentary Blackfish, which sparked controversy about how the park cares for its animals.

The whale arrived at the water park over 25 years ago, and is estimated to have been 36 when he passed.

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He will be missed by everyone who cared for him, and by animal lovers around the world.