SeaWorld: Tilikum the killer whale dies after battling bacterial lung infection

Updated:

Tilikum the killer whale
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Tilikum the killer whale died Friday morning, according to SeaWorld.

“Tilikum passed away early this morning, January 6, surrounded by the trainers, care staff and veterinarians that provided him around-the-clock world-class care," SeaWorld officials said in a news release.

The release said Tilikum faced serious health issues, and that SeaWorld veterinarians were treating a persistent and complicated bacterial lung infection.  “The suspected bacteria is part of a group of bacteria that is found in water and soil both in wild habitats and zoological settings," the report said.

The report said the official cause of death will not be determined until a necropsy is completed.

Tilikum was connected to three deaths and was the focus of the “Blackfish” documentary about SeaWorld’s orcas.