Tilikum, the killer whale that killed a SeaWorld trainer last year, has returned to the stage at the Orlando, Florida, theme park. Tilikum made his return appearance Wednesday morning in front of an audience in the "Believe" show.
When it comes to animal exploitation -- follow the money. Using animals for entertainment is big business, plain and simple. The killer whale Tilikum has helped SeaWorld sell millions of dollars worth of tickets.
The tragic death of a trainer at Sea World last week revived a number of long simmering questions. While we still grapple with "how did this happen?" the central question for many revolves around the role of large mammals -- like Tilikum the killer whale -- in zoos and aquariums: Should they be there or not?
Killer whales can weigh up to 22,000 pounds, and may be as long as 32 feet, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. They often travel in groups of up to 50, being highly social.
A whale trainer at SeaWorld died from "multiple traumatic injuries and drowning" after a 12,000-pound killer whale grabbed her ponytail and pulled her underwater in front of shocked onlookers at Shamu Stadium, the Orange County Sheriff's office said Thursday.