Top 5 Reasons Jack Hanna Can’t Save SeaWorld

Published by Jennifer O'Connor.

SeaWorld is partnering (again) with Jack Hanna, who seems to be the perfect pimp for the marine abusement park. Hanna will be a guest speaker at SeaWorld’s “Wild Days” events and talk about his “experiences,” which, of course, entail schlepping animals around on the talk-show circuit, subjecting them to the stress of bright lights, noisy crowds, and rough handling. And just like SeaWorld, Hanna regularly forces animals kept in an unnatural and alien environment to perform.

Here are five things you may not know about Hanna:

  1. In 1973, on Hanna’s animal farm in Knoxville, Tennessee, a lion ripped a 3-year-old boy’s arm off. Amid lawsuits and public scorn, Hanna moved away and gave most of the lions he had been keeping to a circus trainer.
  2. A chimpanzee Hanna had taken to a church event in 1978 bit off the little finger of a 5-year-old girl. He was sued by her parents.
  3. In 2007, Hanna got stuck while trying to squeeze through an airport security turnstile carrying a flamingo. He later said, “I can’t describe the feeling in my stomach. I can’t move up or down. The bars are on your face.” Hanna eventually got out, but firefighters had to rescue the flamingo. Although he experienced firsthand what it’s like to be trapped behind bars—exactly the same kind of nightmare that he causes animals to endure—Hanna apparently can’t connect the dots.
  4. In 2008, Hanna gave the keynote address for animal-experimentation industry shills, the Pennsylvania Society for Biomedical Research. He gave a presentation about kangaroos and porcupines frolicking in the wild to a room full of people who professionally advocate locking up animals in laboratories.
  5. Hanna has publicly defended SeaWorld’s abysmal record of injuries and deaths of both trainers and animals, saying, “[P]raise the Lord for SeaWorld” and “I hope they don’t change anything at SeaWorld.”

What You Can Do

Ask SeaWorld to release its marine mammal prisoners to coastal sanctuaries.

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“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

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind