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Blackfish, an award winning documentary about
the captive killer whale industry hit theaters nationwide on July 26th. The
films focuses on Tilikum, the world's largest captive killer whale, who has
taken the lives of 3 humans during his 30 years of captivity. Tilikum is
currently housed at Sea World Orlando and was involved in the death of a Sea
World trainer in 2010. Dr. Walters, an assistant professor in our department,
is featured in the film. He worked with Tilikum as a whale trainer from 1987 to
1989 and so the film makers wanted his perspective on Tilikum's early years in
captivity. Because of Dr. Walters' experience working with Tilikum, combined
with many years conducting research on wild killer whales in his native British
Columbia, he was called as an expert witness in 1991after Tilikum was
implicated in the death of a whale trainer, the first human death ever
attributed to a killer whale.