Whale Trainer Dies During Rehearsal

Published by PETA.
rusty.com / CC

When I hear “Christmas spectacular,” I think snow, lights, and a tree—really, it doesn’t take much to make me happy. For the twisted folks at Loro Parque in Spain, however, it’s apparently not Christmas without some animal exploitation. Wholesome and heartwarming? Yeah, right.

There was nothing festive about the death of a captive orca’s trainer during the rehearsal for the zoo’s Christmas performance. The whale hit the trainer, who drowned after being underwater for several minutes.

Freedom must’ve been first on this orca’s Christmas wish list. Orcas swim up to 100 miles a day in the open ocean, so confining them to tanks in theme parks is like confining a person to a bathtub. Captured from their ocean homes by boats that chase orca pods to shallow waters so that the animals can be surrounded with nets that are gradually closed and lifted onto the boats, some orcas die from shock or stress. Others slowly succumb to pneumonia when water enters their lungs through their blowholes. After they are torn away from their homes and families, these animals are then forced to learn circus-style tricks from trainers who withhold food and isolate animals who refuse to perform.

At the top of my New Year’s wish list? A PETA theme park in which the only “animals” forced to perform are the animatronic kind.

Written by Logan Scherer

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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