A pilot whale, beloved by thousands of SeaWorld visitors, has died after spending nearly thirty years entertaining people sparking outrage on Twitter.
The marine mammal Bubbles, who was a fan favourite at SeaWorld’s San Diego’s park, died on Thursday in her early-to-mid-50s despite her species normally living longer than this, The Mirror reports.
Representatives at the park have said that the whale ‘inspired and amazed more than 100 million guests’ during her lifetime at the park, ever since she was transferred there from Marineland in the 80s.
Bubbles’ death has sparked furious outrage on social media with many commentors complaining that the poor animal was forced, to perform ‘stupid tricks’ until her death.
While another Twitter use, Quad Finn , wrote: “RIP Bubbles: SeaWorld’s oldest captive still died far short of average lifespan of 63 years for female pilot whales.”
@cnnbrk The only thing more upsetting than a whale being called bubbles is that SeaWorld is still open!
— mikael (@FCKml) June 12, 2016
Bubbles the Pilot Whale died at SeaWorld another life wasted away in a tiny tank I'm not okay can SeaWorld just DISAPPEAR ALREADY
— Ace (@aceatthebeach) June 10, 2016
RIP Bubbles the pilot whale? you'll be missed?
— Kali Ison (@FL_KaliGirl) June 10, 2016
— Kimberly Ventre (@KimberlyVentre) June 10, 2016
Bubbles the whale from seaworld died today :(
— Carli Willis (@carliiwillis) June 10, 2016
The majority of Twitter users were in agreement that the whale, who was reportedly captured in the wild back in 1966, ‘deserved better’ than a life set under the spotlight in a tank.
In a statement, SeaWorld San Diego said it was ‘saddened’ to announce the death of ‘one of the world’s most beloved animals’.
In her early- to mid-50s, Bubbles was the oldest pilot whale in a zoological park. She has inspired and amazed more than 100 million guests for nearly 50 years.
Loved by her trainers and veterinarians, Bubbles had been a member of the SeaWorld family for nearly 30 years.
She was one of several pilot whales and a dozen dolphins that have participated in various shows at Dolphin Stadium since the late 1980s…
While Bubbles will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her, she has helped generations of park visitors gain a better appreciation for all animals and the ocean environment.
The park has said that an autopsy will be performed to work out the cause of Bubbles’ death.
Such a shame that a beautiful creature had to spend it’s life locked away. #emptythetanks