Written by PETA
SeaWorld may have animal pimp "entertainer" Jack Hanna in its corner, but Tilly has Jean-Michel Cousteau on his side.
The world-renowned French explorer, environmentalist, film producer and, of course, son of Jacques-Yves Cousteau has issued a brief video statement addressing the cruelty and danger of keeping killer whales and dolphins imprisoned in marine amusement parks. Please don't miss this one, folks:
Jean-Michel Cousteau's video contains so many eloquent, logical statements that I had trouble picking just one favorite. Can you?
Written by Karin Bennett
We weren't surprised when we heard that SeaWorld hired animal pimp "entertainer" Jack Hanna to defend its abuse of marine mammals as well as SeaWorld's abysmal record of injuries and deaths of both trainers and animals. This is the same man who called Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey "the finest circus in the world," after all.
Hanna—who actually compared whale trainers to astronauts (?!)—has his own long and sordid history of exploiting animals at the expense of the safety of the animals and the humans around them. The baby animals Hanna regularly turns into unwilling performers are unweaned infants who were torn from their mothers shortly after birth. His traveling wildlife are subjected to the crippling stress of large crowds and are trapped in an unnatural, alien environment.
Hanna's antics perpetuate the misguided notion that dangerous and exotic animals are desirable "pets," yet even an "animal expert" such as himself can't take the wild nature out of the animals he carts around. His "pet" lion bit off the arm of a 3-year-old. A chimpanzee he brought to a church, bit off a 5-year-old girl's finger. A fox he displayed on Good Morning America severely bit the host's finger, and a baby cougar he brought to a conference bit a politician on the chin. By using animal suppliers and assistants with poor records of animal care, Hanna supports individuals and organizations who have been cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for violations of the Animal Welfare Act.
Hanna + SeaWorld = double the suffering for animals. Want to tell these abusers to "Hit the road, Jack!"? Urge SeaWorld to end its use of marine mammals immediately.
Written by Logan Scherer
Eyebrows are shooting up in the animal protection world, as SeaWorld has hired professional animal entertainer Jack Hanna to sing its praises in public. Given his own record of responsibility for numerous animal attacks (including an incident in which a chimpanzee he was using in a public display bit off a 5-year-old girl’s finger) and his history of using underage animals who should be with their mothers instead of in noisy crowds and under bright lights, Hanna seems a good fit for SeaWorld. Despite its heavy public relations efforts, the marine park has a long history of getting away with murder while turning a fast buck. For example, the statements from SeaWorld about what a surprise, shock, and accident it was that the orca Tilly had drowned and pounded a seasoned trainer to death in Orlando deserve careful scrutiny. It was the third time that that particular orca had killed a human being (Tilly’s son also killed a trainer last year in Spain), both other deaths having also been dismissed by the amusement park as "accidental" when they were likely anything but. The marine amusement park environment is rife with deaths, close calls, and injuries.
As Jason Hribal writes in his soon-to-be-released book, Fear of the Animal Planet: The Hidden History of Animal Resistance, Tilly and two of the other orcas came from Sealand of the Pacific in Canada, a facility that closed shortly after all three whales were involved in a fatal attack on a trainer. That attack, "carried out by Nootka, Haida, and Tilikum left the park in a public relations freefall. Administrators promised changes. New safety procedures would be initiated. Physical contact between the trainers and whales will no longer be allowed. Guardrails will be installed along the poolside to prevent slips or bites." All the same things that SeaWorld is saying as it hopes for the story of the trainer’s death to go away. But in Canada, back then, public pressure did not let up. As Hribal writes, "Between the daily protests at the park's front gates, national demands that the orcas be released back to the ocean, and the city council's entrance into the debate, Sealand’s will crumbled. In August of 1991, the park reached a startling decision. 'After a lot of thought and discussion,' the director clarified, 'it was decided killer whales should be phased out.' … The twenty-nine year old institution had closed permanently."
Hanna will take the stage for a fun-filled presentation highlighting his many adventures with a mix of DVD clips and inspirational stories about conservation, travel and wildlife. His program includes live animals such as panthers, snow leopards, porcupines, kangaroos and penguins. PSBR will present Jungle Jack Hanna with its “Community Service Award,” for his public support of humane animal based research and outspokenness regarding the positive nature of the field of biomedical research.
Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up: Jack Hanna, who’s made a career out of keeping animals confined and dragging them along with him on the talk-show circuit, is giving a “fun-filled” presentation about kangaroos and porcupines frolicking in the wild to a room full of people who professionally advocate for increased animal experimentation. Unbelievable.
Thanks to Genevieve H for the tip, and thanks to Jack Hanna for making my day that much more surreal.
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
Follow PETA on Twitter!
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.