Nearly a century before Tilikum or Lolita - who are both in captivity at marine parks in the U.S. - there was Ethelbert the orca. Ethelbert's story, like those of Tilikum and Lolita, is tarnished by his treatment from humans, who was one of the first orcas to end up in a tank in the United States.
Ethelbert's tale begins in the 1930s, as he "had bumbled [his] way more than 100 miles up the Columbia River and landed outside of Portland," the Chinook Observer recounts. Confronted with an unusual aquatic critter, locals embraced their red-blooded American heritage, and, naturally, attempted to kill him. Here's the Observer:
Eager sportsmen, guns in hand, soon lined the shore, determined to bag a whale. They shot at it until Gov. Julius L Meier ordered them to stop. Portlanders named the whale Ethelbert and reporters wrote about "the friendly whale" that had come to "visit" the city.
By this point, Ethelbert's future looked grim. Time magazine reported in 1931 that the Oregon Humane Society decided the whale "should be painlessly executed with dynamite."