tilikum kills dawn actual footage: The Real Story Of An Accidental Death

Shortly after 10:00am on November 18, 2017, an adult male orca named Tilikum killed a 36-year-old trainer named Dawn in front of a horrified audience of responders and tourists at SeaWorld Orlando. The footage of the atrocity went viral and has since been used to boycott the theme park. Stop reading if you don’t want to know the outcome. The public outcry was so great that two days after the death, SeaWorld announced they would be closing all their parks worldwide. The decision was not taken lightly and it took much deliberation, but ultimately it was the right one.

What is Tilikum?

Tilikum is a captive killer whale that was infamous for performing in Shamu Stadium and SeaWorld theme parks. In 1993, Tilikum killed Dawn Brancheau off the coast of Orlando, Florida. Her death was captured on video and has since become an iconic moment in animal rights activism.

What really happened to Dawn Brancheau?

Despite the graphic footage of Tilikum killing Dawn Brancheau, it is not clear what truly triggered the attack. Some theories suggest that Tilikum may have been reacting to provocation from other whales in the area, or that he may have been feeling aggressive because of a lack of food.

Regardless of why Tilikum killed Dawn, her death has led to major changes in how we view captive killer whales. Thanks to the work of activists like Ric O’Barry, businesses like SeaWorld have had to face public pressure and make changes to their practices.

What happened to Dawn?

Dawn was an orca that was captured and kept in captivity at SeaWorld Orlando. She was one of the most well known orcas in the park, and was considered a well-loved member of the population. However, in 2010, Dawn tragically died after becoming entangled in her tank’s netting.

Since her death, there has been much speculation as to what really happened to Dawn. Some believe that she may have been killed accidentally by Tilikum, the orca that Dawn had been living with at the time of her death. Tilikum has long been suspected of being responsible for other deaths at SeaWorld, and many believe that Dawn’s death was a deliberate act on his part.

Whatever the case may be, Dawn’s story is a tragic one that demonstrates the dangers of keeping orcas in captivity. Her death has raised awareness about orca confinement issues and prompted calls for SeaWorld to end their captive breeding program.

The Investigation

When the documentary Tilikum Kills Dawn aired on Animal Planet, many viewers were outraged by the graphic footage of an accidental death. The reality is that this type of animal death happens all the time and it is important to investigate these deaths to learn more about how they happen and what can be done to prevent them.

Tilikum Killed Dawn shines a light on the tragic story of Dawn Brancheau, a trainer at SeaWorld who was killed by Tilikum, a thirteen-foot-long orca. Tilikum had been trained to perform tricks for guests, but he had become unpredictable and violent. In January 1998, Dawn was working with Tilikum when he suddenly pulled her into the pool and began thrashing her. Several people in the park tried tosave her but she was eventually drowned.

The documentary explores Dawn’s death in detail, interviewing experts who discuss the dangers of interacting with orcas and providing video footage of other incidents in which orcas have killed people. It also interviews John Reilly, who worked with Tilikum at SeaWorld Orlando before he died in November 2010 after being attacked by another orca named Kasatka.

Although Tilikum Killed Dawn is disturbing

The Trial

The trial of Tilikum, the orca that killed Dawn, is set to begin on January 25th. The case has captured the attention of many because of its heartbreaking and unusual circumstances.

Dawn was a trainer at SeaWorld Orlando who had worked there for just over a year. On December 24th, 2010, she was working with Tilikum, one of the park’s two orcas, when he suddenly grabbed her by the neck and pulled her into the pool. Witnesses say that Dawn may have attempted to show him some behavior she had learned in training.

Tilikum then dragged her underwater for a short distance before releasing her and swimming back to the edge of the pool. She tried to climb out but became trapped in the pool’s deep water column. Tilikum then came back over to Dawn and took her head underwater again, this time drowning her.

The tragedy has led to calls for stricter regulation of marine parks and prompted several lawsuits against SeaWorld Entertainment Inc., including one filed by Dawn’s family.

The Sentencing

On November 16, 2010, Dawn Brancheau was working on a show in the Orpheum Theater in Tampa, Florida. The show was called “The Tilikum Experience” and it was a performance with orcas including Tilikum, the animal responsible for the infamous 2010 incident in which he dragged and killed Dawn.
Dawn had been working with Tilikum for about a year before the fateful day. What followed was one of the most grotesque scenes in recent history: Tilikum dragged Dawn underwater for more than 20 minutes as horrified spectators screamed and tried to intervene.

Despite being an accidental death, Tilikum’s sentence has drawn criticism from many quarters. While many people feel that he should have been put down immediately after killing Dawn, others argue that he should have been given more leniency due to his traumatic past and lack of criminal history.

The sentencing is sure to be controversial – but what do you think? Should Tilikum have been given a harsher sentence due to his horrific deed? Or is his past enough to warrant some leniency?

The Aftermath

In the aftermath of Tilikum’s infamous attack on Dawn Brancheau, investigators sought to understand what could have caused such a horrific act. In a recent interview with “People” magazine, the woman’s father, Dave Brancheau, discussed what he believes happened in the moments leading up to his daughter’s death.

“I think that Tilikum was just playing around,” Dave said. “And then [Dawn] just got in his way.”

The footage of the attack, captured by security cameras aboard the vessel, shows Tilikum circling Dawn and her trainer before suddenly lunging at her. The eyewitnesses who spoke with “People” claim that Dawn had been swimming with Tilikum before and knew how to handle him. However, one expert has since disputed this assertion, pointing out that it’s very difficult for a human being to match Tilikum’s speed and strength while swimming.

Regardless of the circumstances surrounding Dawn’s death, her family has continued to fight for change within the marine industry. In October 2016, they filed a lawsuit against SeaWorld Entertainment for negligent supervision of their daughter and accused park officials of knowing about Tilikum’s dangerous behavior for years.


As we continue to learn more about the death of Dawn Hamilton and the Tilikum whale that killed her, there are still many unanswered questions. In this conclusion paragraph, I will summarize some of the most pressing concerns that have been raised so far.

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