[ORLANDO, FL] SeaWorld announced this week that Tilikum, the killer whale at the center of recent controversy, has spoken.
“I love living at SeaWorld,” the 12,500-pound whale surprisingly said during a phone interview this past week. “Not sure what all the fuss is about … this place is great!”
Using advanced technology developed by the Animal Speak Institute (ASI) in Edmond, Oklahoma, scientists were able to convert sonar signals from the marine mammal into spoken word. Code named “The Dolittle Project,” the device can also convert dolphin sounds into Tweets and Facebook posts.
“We were surprised to find out that Tilikum actually speaks fluent French,” noted Dr. Bloom from the Institute. “We brought in a translator and within a few hours we knew exactly what Tilikum was saying. It was fascinating. Or as Tilikum put it ‘très magnifique!'”
Tilikum’s well-being has come under intense scrutiny due in part to the release of “Blackfish,” a documentary that claims the marine animals at SeaWorld are being mis-handled and shouldn’t be held captive in the first place.
“Don’t know what they’re talking about … this place is awesome,” Tilikum continued. “While all my friends ‘out there’ need to find food and swim for thousands of miles, I get food dropped into my mouth every day and only have to swim in circles.”
When protesters outside of SeaWorld were informed of Tilikum’s statements, they packed up their signs and went home. One protester commented, “… who’s going to argue with a 12,000-pound killer whale?”
Tilikum concluded the interview by saying that in the wild it sometimes took weeks to find a mate, take her to dinner, let her know he cares about her — before he “got lucky.” At SeaWorld, “trainers get me off once a week,” he went on to say, “and, the only thing missing afterward is a cigarette. I’d kill for a cigarette.”
Funding for this program provided by SeaWorld and Trident Seafood, Incorporated.