SeaWorld: Tilikum the killer whale dies after lung infection

Published: Friday, January 06, 2017 @ 10:43 AM
Updated: Friday, January 06, 2017 @ 10:58 AM


            Killer whale 'Tilikum' appears during its performance in its show 'Believe' at Sea World on March 30, 2011 in Orlando, Florida. 'Tilikum' is back to public performance March 30, the first time since the six-ton whale has performed since killing trainer 40-year-old trainer Dawn Brancheau at the marine park on February 24 2010, after Sea World Parks & Entertainment president Jim Atchinson signed off on the decision this week. (Photo by Gerardo Mora/Getty Images)
            Gerardo Mora

Tilikum, the orca at the center of the 2013 documentary film "Blackfish," has died, SeaWorld officials said Friday.

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Tilikum died early Friday while surrounded by trainers, care staff and veterinarians, according to SeaWorld. His cause of death was not immediately known, although amusement park officials said he was being treated for "a persistent and complicated bacterial lung infection" before his death.

"Tilikum had, and will continue to have, a special place in the hearts of the SeaWorld family, as well as the millions of people all over the world that he inspired," SeaWorld president and CEO Joel Manby said. "My heart goes out to our team who cared for him like family."

He was estimated to be about 36 years old.

>> Related: Oldest known orca considered dead

Tilikum was brought to SeaWorld after Canada's Sealand of the Pacific closed in 1992. He has been at the amusement park ever since.

The orca was profiled in "Blackfish," a documentary that helped sway popular opinion against keeping killer whales in captivity at SeaWorld parks.

In 2010, Tilikum killed SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau when he grabbed her after a "Dine with Shamu" show and pulled her into the pool.

Tilikum was also involved in the deaths of two other people in the 1990s.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Climate protesters march to edge of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago

Published: Saturday, April 29, 2017 @ 7:18 PM

Hundreds of demonstrators participate in the People’s Climate March in Palm Beach Saturday April 29, 2017. The march begin in West Palm Beach and circled past Mar-a-Lago ending on Bingham Island in Palm Beach. ( Meghan McCarthy / Daily News )
Daily News Staff Writer

An estimated 500 people marched to the edge of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club Saturday, hoping to turn up the heat on a president they say has turned his back on the threat of climate change.

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“The time for denial is over,” said Patrick Ferguson, an event organizer. “The time for climate solutions is now.”

Protesters gathered at George S. Petty Park in West Palm Beach, Florida, walked along Flagler Drive and crossed the Southern Boulevard Bridge into Palm Beach around noon. Toting signs and chanting slogans, they marched down to the Southern Boulevard roundabout, circling it and back toward the bridge and out of town. President Trump is not in town this weekend.

“Sea level rise affects us all, especially in South Florida, and that includes Mar-a-Lago,” said Ferguson, a representative of the Sierra Club Florida.

The protest was part of the People’s Climate March, which originated with a massive demonstration in New York in September 2014. Tens of thousands of people gathered in Washington on Saturday, enduring sweltering temperatures while protesting Trump’s rollbacks of environmental protections and Obama climate policies.

At the Palm Beach event, Alex Newell Taylor of the Women’s March said environmental justice is very much a women’s issue. “As a woman, I want clean water to drink, I want clean air to breathe and I want to see our beautiful planet protected,” she said.

The climate denial problem is bigger than Trump, she said.

“We have too many people in power who put profits and corporate interests over the health of our planet and its people.”

David Gibson, an event organizer and Coconut Creek resident, said embracing climate change solutions means “devoting resources to climate change mitigation, and no more resources to war and fossil fuel extraction.”

Robert Lewis of Lake Worth carried a sign reading “Make America think again.”

Lewis said Trump is bowing to the interests of big oil and big coal while gambling that the nation’s elite will be able to ride out a climate-driven catastrophe. Left behind will be “all those people who will be displaced, who won’t be able to grow food, whose economy will be ruined, whose water will be tainted,” he said.

“Don’t stop being outraged” read the sign toted by Dave Haglund of Tequesta, who said he’s participated in several demonstrations in the 100 days since Trump took office. This is not a time for complacency, he said.

“This involves everyone, and we’re running out of time,” he said.

Palm Beach Police were on hand for crowd control and safety. The Palm Beach portion of the march, which lasted about an hour, was peaceful and occurred without incident, according to Sgt. Scott Duquette. Last weekend, demonstrators came to the island as part of the March for Science.

Child carriers recalled after reports of children falling through openings

Published: Saturday, April 29, 2017 @ 6:51 PM

Thousands of child backpack carriers were recalled this week after the company that makes them got reports of children falling through the carriers’ leg openings.

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In a recall notice issued Thursday, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said at least four children have fallen from Osprey’s Poco, Poco Plus and Poco Premium child backpack carriers. At least one of the children suffered a fractured skull from the fall.

Nearly 90,000 of Osprey’s Poco, Poco Plus and Poco Premium child backpack carriers fall under the recall. A majority of those – about 82,000 – were sold in the United States at REI and specialty outdoor stores and online from January 2012 to December 2015. The rest were sold in Canada.

>> See the recall notice

The recalled carriers have production date codes of: S12SBPR1, S12SBPR1B, S12SBPR2, S12SBPR3, S12SBPR4, F12SBPR1, F12SBPR2, S13SB IPO, S13SBPR1, S13SBPR2, S13SBPR3, S13SBPR4, F13SBPR1, F13SBPR2, F13SBPR3, S14SBPR1, S14SBPR2, S14SBPR3, S14SBPR4 and S14SBPR5. The codes can be found stamped on a black label sewn into the interior of the lower, zippered compartment on the back of the carrier.

Officials asked that anyone who has one of the affected carriers stop using it immediately and contact Osprey. The company is giving out seat pad inserts which, combined with the child carrier’s safety straps, secure carried children.

Shark bites woman at South Carolina beach

Published: Saturday, April 29, 2017 @ 5:31 PM

A woman was injured Saturday when a shark bit her foot in the waters off South Carolina’s Folly Beach, according to multiple reports.

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The woman, a 36-year-old surfer, was headed back to shore on her surf board when she was bitten on the left heel around 11 a.m., officials told WCBD and The Post and Courier.

Folly Beach firefighters told WCIV that the bite was about 5 inches in diameter. The injured woman was taken to a hospital with injuries that appeared to be minor.

The shark bite is the first reported at Folly Beach this year. Officials told WCBD that they typically get three or four reports of shark bites every year.

Was Howard Stern right about Trump's presidency?

Published: Saturday, April 29, 2017 @ 9:47 AM

Donald Trump, Melania Trump, Beth Ostrosky and Howard Stern (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)
James Devaney/WireImage

Radio shock jock Howard Stern is never one to be shy about his opinions. Stern made a prediction about the Trump presidency in February that appears to be coming true, according to CNN.

During his Feb. 1 broadcast, Stern said that being president would be a nightmare for Trump, as he won't be beloved and it's not a winning situation compared to the way the business mogul is used to living. Stern concluded that being president would be detrimental to Trump's mental health.

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Fast forward to this week, when President Trump revealed in a Reuters interview about his first 100 days that, “I thought it would be easier. I thought it was more of a … I’m a details-oriented person. I think you’d say that, but I do miss my old life. I like to work so that’s not a problem but this is actually more work.” Trump also reflected on his previous career as a businessman: “I love my previous life. I had so many things going. This is more work than in my previous life.” 

Stern considers Trump a friend, even though he voted for Clinton. Trump has been on Stern's radio show multiple times and he attended Stern's 2008 wedding, according to CNN.