A columnist from the American newspaper Olympian is of the opinion that the killer whale Tilikum which drowned its trainer Dawn Brancheau in SeaWorld in Orlando last week, should be allowed to return to Iceland where it was caught in 1983.
Whale watching in Iceland. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
Brancheau died after Tilikum grabbed her and dragged her down to the bottom of the pool. The killer whale is also associated with another death.
SeaWorld representatives say it is impossible to release the whale back into the wild and that it is out of the question to terminate it, as 77 percent of respondents to a CBS poll want to do, visir.is reports.
Tilikum was caught by the fishermen of the Icelandic vessel Gudrún HF in October 1983 in Berufjördur fjord along with two other killer whales and was on display in the Hafnarfjördur aquarium for a while.
Following this, it was sold to the US where Icelandic killer whales became popular in the early 1980s after it was forbidden to catch live killer whales for entertainment purposes in the Pacific in 1972.
The Olympian columnist writes that it is a recipe for a disaster when a large and intelligent marine mammal is taken from its natural environment, transported thousands of miles and placed in a small tank where it is kept in isolation for almost 30 years.