Tilikum should have more space; everyone can agree on this. But we have so many people screaming for his release, and barring his health issues and aversion to change, and the other dozen reasons why he shouldn’t be released, there is a topic that not enough people know about.
We have Tilikum, who has made very deep bonds with a couple of his trainers. If you’ve hung out on my blog enough, you’d see that I love his and Daniel’s relationship. They feed off of one another’s energy, and oftentimes I’ll see Tilly not want to perform for anyone but Daniel. It’s very impressive and touching. Tilikum has Trua in direct contact with him, other whales to communicate with between gates, and trainers that he is emotionally invested in.
Now we have Kshamenk. A whale who was captured later than many whales at age 5, and who is infamous for not having a relationship with any of his trainers. He is borderline aggressive with them and has made it clear he has minimal bonds with any of them. He is kept in a small facility in Argentina that is not fit for a bull that weights almost four tons. This park, Marino Mundo, also shows signs of poor water quality. The only companionship he has are with dolphins. While his physical and dental health both seem good, he clearly deserves more than some dolphin tankmates and trainers that he can’t connect to.
So when people want to shout about freeing a whale, they should be directed to petitions to help Kshamenk, because he’s a big boy that really deserves to have his voice be heard.