Tilikum, the murderous orca at the center of the documentary Blackfish, and the namesake for Portland's light rail and pedestrian bridge, is slowly dying, probably alone in solitary confinement, according to The Washington Post.
Depending on how you look at it, Tilikum is either famous for being the only whale to take a human life in the war against the ocean occupiers and fish enslavers, or infamous for murdering up to three innocent humans. Either way, he's the most famous killer whale since Keiko, and Portland has a bridge named after him.
But now, the hero/terrorist, who has lived the majority of his 35 years in a small, watery cage under the watchful eyes of human kidnappers, is dying of a bacterial lung infection.
According to WaPo, SeaWorld, which has "owned" the whale for about 20 years, appears to feel bad about the infection.
"Despite the best care available, like all aging animals, he battles chronic health issues that are taking a greater toll as he ages," says SeaWorld. "Our teams are treating him with care and medication for what we believe is a bacterial infection in his lungs. However, the suspected bacteria is very resistant to treatment and a cure for his illness has not been found."
Allegations that SeaWorld poisoned the large fish who killed one of their comrades and basically destroyed their business are sure to arise. Tilikum is a lightning rod for these kind of truther movements. For example, some deniers still maintain that Portland's bridge is not named after the murder fish but the word for "people" in the Chinook Wawa language, just as some people also claim that Tilikum is not a fish, even though he swims through (small amounts of) water and starred in a movie called "BlackFISH."
Either way, many will mourn the passing of the great fighter, while some will happily stomp on his watery grave.