I did speak to Tilikum and Dawn right after the accident in 2010 and would like to set the record straight.
Tilikum, did not intend to kill Dawn or even attack her.
What happened was that, being a bit frustrated with the endless repetition of tricks, boredom and degrading treatment, he wanted to take Dawn, who he dearly loved, down into the water so show her his home and how wonderful it could be and share this special place with her. Show her the fun they could have, the freedom.
When Tilikum noticed that Dawn was in distress, by being below the water line for too long, he tried to rush her up, Many thought that he was tossing her around but all he tried was to get her to the surface as fast as possible.
Tilikum did not intend to harm Dawn in any way, he wanted to show her how beautiful his world could be.
When I got in touch with Dawn about the accident, after she had left her physical body, she told me that she understands what Tilikum was trying to do and that she did not blame him at all. He did not want to hurt her.
She told me that Tilikum was so sad. He still was missing his family and his home. Tilikum was captured at only 2 years of age. He was born free. He wanted to show her a little bit of his truly wonderful world (or as much as it was possible in the tank he was living in).
When I was just talking with Tilikum now, he also set the record straight about another incident that happened in 1999. A man who had snuck past security and had jumped or fallen into Tilikum’s tank was found dead and wrapped over Tilikum.
Again, people accused this beautiful Orca of the death of the man when indeed Tilikum had tried to save the man, had put him on his back to bring him up to the surface and keep him there to help him to breathe, that was why the man was wrapped over Tilikum.
Before we pass judgement over any animal or his or her action, it is so important to hear their side of the story.
Many times, since most people cannot communicate with animals, or read their behaviours correctly, animals get a bad reputation.
Like with Tilikum, again, he did not intend to hurt Dawn in any way but because our bodies are so different from many animal bodies, Dawn did not survive something special this wonderful animal wanted to share with her.
It is so important that we all open up and start to communicate with animals.