Tilikum, SeaWorld Orca, Is Most Influential Living Animal Of 2016: See Top Five List

Nancy Bailey

Tilikum, the orca in the center of the SeaWorld controversy, is the world's most influential living animal of 2016, according to a poll by Time Magazine.

Tilikum was number two on the list of Top 100, nosing up right behind Cecil the Lion, who led the group.

— Blackfish (@blackfishmovie) April 25, 2016

To make the list, Stein started the "Animal 100 Board", a panel consisting of seven top animal experts:

Cousteau argued that he personally had witnessed Keiko living a happy life in the wild for five years after he was moved from captivity.

"They need to be released and put back into a place where we can keep an eye on them and they can reconnect with nature."

As Time wrote, in explaining why Tilikum was so high on the list:

"The SeaWorld Orca was PETA President Ingrid Newkirk's top pick. After killing three people, getting his own documentary and more impressively inspiring Tommy Lee to write a letter, the park is ending its orca shows. SeaWorld's stock price plummeted. 'He got everyone to open their eyes. We got Southwest to take orcas off their planes. We got Mattel to stop making a SeaWorld Barbie. He was the follow up to Free Willie: 'Free Tillie.'' In March it was discovered that Tilikum now has a fatal respiratory disease that Newkirk blames SeaWorld for and SeaWorld blames respiratory disease on."

— Nancy J. Bailey (@cliffysmom) February 4, 2016

"Within a few months, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service added two subspecies of lion to the endangered list making hunting of them not okay for U.S. citizens. France banned importing dead lion trophies. And more than 40 airlines will not transport them. Plus, Jimmy Kimmel cried."
"Americans invented CRISPR technology, but they won't use it because they're ethical wimps. The Chinese have made super beagles, super pigs, super sheep, super monkeys and—this last one is totally a guess—that eagle that attacked Donald Trump."

— CRISPR News (@CRISPR_News) November 19, 2015

"Didn't see the movie, but if Time can put Leonardo DiCaprio on its Time 100 list, I can totally put the bear from that movie on the list. Even if there was no actual bear rape in the movie, Revenant Bear brought up the issue of bear rape."

(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)