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FILE - In this Monday, March 7, 2011, file photo, killer whale Tilikum, right, watches as SeaWorld Orlando trainers take a break during a training session at the theme park's Shamu Stadium in Orlando, Fla. Troubled theme park operator SeaWorld says it will soon stop paying its shareholders a quarterly dividend. It will pay its last dividend on Oct. 7, 2016, and the amount it pays will be cut 52 percent to 10 cents from 21 cents in the previous quarter. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File)

SeaWorld killer whale Tilikum, featured in the 2010 documentary 'Blackfish,' has died


SeaWorld has announced the passing of Tilikum, the orca whale that killed its trainer. 

RIP Tilikum

One of SeaWorld's better-known orca whales, Tilikum, who killed trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010 and inspired the movie 'Blackfish,' died on Friday. 

It is unclear what killed him, but a necropsy is planned to pin down the cause of death.

Veterinarians had been treating Tilikum for a "persistent and complicated bacterial lung infection," according to USA Today.

He was estimated to be 36 years old.

SeaWorld received a lot of backlash for its treatment of Tilikum over the years.

SeaWorld's past

Last year, California became the first state to shut down killer whale shows and breeding.

USA Today reports SeaWorld ended its killer whale breeding program in March and has announced plans to phase out theatrical shows.

SeaWorld operates parks in California. Florida, Virginia and Texas.

Tourist's Camera Rolls Seconds Before Killer Whale Attacks SeaWorld Trainer

Here is footage from the 2010 attack featured in the Blackfish documentary.

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