Tilikum's Health Improving As Tanking SeaWorld Turns To Saudi Arabia

Nancy Bailey

Tilikum, the world's best known Orca, might be beating the odds.

SeaWorld announced on Tuesday that Tilikum's health is improving following a bout with a lung infection which was expected to be fatal.

Director of Animal Training at SeaWorld, Kelly Flaherty Clark, said that the whale is well enough to take him out of isolation.

"The cool thing is that, as he's gotten stronger, we've been able to re-acclimate him with some of his pod."

— SeaWorld (@SeaWorld) June 29, 2016

Plans to build the habitat are already underway.

— SAVE THE DOLPHINS (@SavetheDolphin1) May 15, 2016

"The decision to end a successful breeding program or retire animals to sea pens signals a bad omen. Forget the animals in captivity currently; all animals will be in serious danger when we stop connecting with them in zoos and aquariums."

— Lauren German (@LaurenGerman) June 25, 2016

With stocks falling and the cancellation of its U.S. orca performances, SeaWorld has turned to Saudi Arabia as a potential host for a new park.

Emirates Woman reported that following a meeting with Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman during his June US tour, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment CEO Joel Manby expressed an interest in going forward with SeaWorld Saudi Arabia.

"Saudi Arabia has beautiful coastlines filled with marine life and wild animals and it is in need for a tourism push. We are waiting for the opportunity to go there."

— Arabian Veritas (@ArabianVeritas) June 24, 2016

The petition's author, Melanie Barrett explained.

"Dubai has a great reputation as a popular tourist destination for beautiful architecture, beautiful nature and kind-hearted people, thus you should not tarnish your great reputation by allowing SeaWorld to open a SeaWorld park in Dubai.'

"In the wild, killer whales are the king of the ocean and they swim 100 miles per day. In confinement, they are living in a tiny swimming pool that is the equivalent to a human living in a bathtub."

"In the wild, killer whales are the king of the ocean and they swim 100 miles per day. In confinement, they are living in a tiny swimming pool that is the equivalent to a human living in a bathtub."

— OrcaSafe (@OrcaSafe) May 1, 2016

(Photo by Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP)

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