The killer whale that attacked and drowned a SeaWorld Orlando trainer in 2010 is suffering from an apparent bacterial infection in his lungs, officials at SeaWorld Orlando announced Tuesday.
According to SeaWorld Orlando, Tilikum’s health has been deteriorating over the past few weeks.
The suspected bacteria is very resistant to treatment and a cure for his illness has not been found,” SeaWorld Orlando said.
SeaWorld said since Tilikum joined the Orlando theme park 23 years ago, he’s received the best in marine mammal health care available for killer whales.
“Despite the best care available, like all aging animals, he battles chronic health issues that are taking a greater toll as he ages,” SeaWorld Orlando said in a blog entry on SeaWorldCares.com.
In 2010, Tilikum pulled SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau into the water, killing her after a show at the theme park. In the wake of Brancheau’s death, SeaWorld removed trainers from the water and implemented new safety procedures.