A new relationship with animals, nature and each other.

Could Tilikum Also be Set Free?

A New Beginning for Dolphins

Part Three of “Dolphins and Us”

A New Beginning for Dolphins
The end of captivity and a better relationship.

Freeing Lolita
Could the oldest captive orca be the first to be released?

Could Tilikum Also Be Set Free?
Yes, if we could find his family.

Making the Case
A lawsuit that could classify dolphins as “persons.”

Is SeaWorld on the Ropes?
2010: Not a good year for the dolphin business.

In the World Spotlight
From The Cove to Blood Dolphins.

SeaWorld Testifies before Congress
Must prove their shows are educational.

Gathering in Helsinki to draft a Declaration of Rights.

How You Can Help
Don’t buy a ticket! Other good things.

Interviews & Reports

The Case for Dolphin Rights
Attorney Steven Wise prepares his landmark case.

When the Watchdog is Just a Guard Dog
The trade association that looks after its own.

Communion in the Wild
Toni Frohoff discusses true communication with dolphins and whales.

Part Two: The Big Business of Dolphins
Part One: The Smartest of Us All

If Lolita could be set free, what about Tilikum, who’s being held at SeaWorld Orlando, about 200 miles from Lolita? Could he also be set free?

Howard Garrett of the Orca Network says yes, but that it would be more difficult and more expensive.

“Tilikum is exhibiting some very strange behavior — neurotic, if not psychotic. Obsessive, I would say. He’s messed up. He’s been driven to the edge of insanity by his extreme isolation.

“Tilikum has other orcas around; but he is socially isolated from them because he’s a male from presumably a different community, different family.

“And because he’s killed people, nobody will go near him now. Whether he would be able to be rehabbed, and whether his natural habitat and maybe the sounds and sights and company of his family would heal him – that’s an open question.”

We also don’t know exactly where Tilikum’s family is. But Garrett believes they could be located. “That would have to be done by matching acoustics,” he says. “A lot of orcas were removed, but chances are his mother [and some of] his maternal family would still be alive.”

SeaWorld, of course, would fight to the end to hold on to Tilikum. He’s the thin end of a wedge that could bring down the entire multi-billion-dollar corporation. But the Miami Seaquarium doesn’t have such deep pockets. (They admit they don’t even have the funds to build Lolita a bigger tank.) So while Garrett is not sure about Tilikum, he’s bullish on securing the release of Lolita to her family. And Tilikum could certainly be released into an open water sanctuary, where he would have a far better and more natural life.

And now, like the proverbial cavalry on the horizon, reinforcements may be coming to the rescue. It’s the biggest and best organized legal team ever to be put together on behalf of animals in captivity.

Next: Making the Case