Tilikum Returns to Shamu Stadium for Regular Performance


Tilikum returns to Sea World Orlando’s Shamu Stadium for regular show performance after the death of veteran trainer Dawn Brancheau. Tilikum, also known as Tili, returned to the theater for live performance since he grabbed Ms. Brancheau’s ponytail and brought her to the bottom of the pool during a live performance at the Sea World’s theater. The whale returned to live performance but there was something missing, the trainers. All trainers stayed out of the pool while the performance took place but were readily available on the platforms and outside of the pool. New precautions have been added to the main theater which include rising pool floors and underwater vehicles which will raise and or distract the whale in emergencies respectfully.

The female trainers are now required to wear their hair in buns and were not present in the pool as well as on the platforms or stages, but as an executive for the park stated, their interaction with the whale will aid in his social stimulation. Tili does interact with trainers as well as other whales for his own social stimulation and well being all within controlled environments and has not shown any signs of regression or danger. When Tili returned to the stage to perform, there were many who gave standing ovations and were happy to see the whale back in the spotlight, but there are always skeptics.

Members of groups like PETA say that the trainer’s untimely death could have been avoided completely if the animals were not exploited in this fashion, but others say that the performances of these animals really touch visitors to the point where the animals and their existence is engrained into the minds of the guests. With this “exploitation”, the animals as well as the environments they call home have better chances of being recognized as needing to be respected and preserved.

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