Tilikum's story, which was largely profiled in the 2013 film "Blackfish," has become something of a rallying cry for people concerned about SeaWorld's alleged mistreatment of its animals. The roughly 35-year-old whale was captured from his wild family in 1983, when he was just 2 years old, and has lived at SeaWorld for the past 23 years.
During his time in captivity, Tilikum has been involved in three high-profile human deaths. In 1991, while still the property of Sealand, a now-defunct marine park in Canada, Tilikum was one of three whales who drowned trainer Keltie Byrne after she fell into their pool.
Sealand closed down shortly after and sold Tilikum to SeaWorld. In 1999, a homeless man named Daniel P. Dukes secretly stayed overnight at SeaWorld Orlando. He was found dead the next morning, draped over the back of Tilikum.
In 2010, Tilikum was responsible for the death of SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau. Brancheau was leaning down near Tilikum when he grabbed her and pulled her into the water and began to play with her body until she died.