U.S. Olympic Water Polo Captain Tony Azevedo Wants Orcas Sent to Sanctuaries

Born in Brazil, Tony Azevedo is considered one of the best water polo players in the world. The Olympic silver medalist and team captain returns to Rio de Janeiro for his fifth Olympics this summer. Spending his professional life in the water, Tony has an affinity for all things aquatic. And like so many of us, he’s appalled that orcas are still being held captive in marine parks like SeaWorld.

Tony Azevedo

In his PETA ad, Tony makes this heart-rending point: Orcas at SeaWorld—like animals in circuses and zoos—need to be free. As the father of a young son and another child on the way, Tony will never support taking babies away from their families to endure the horror and sadness of captivity.

Everything about orcas’ lives at SeaWorld is artificial—from the unnatural way they’re bred to the small tanks they’re confined to for their entire lives. Held captive at SeaWorld, orcas endure stress, loneliness, and depression. In the wild, orcas live in large social groups and spend their lives with their families and pods. They’re intelligent animals who swim up to 100 miles a day, but at SeaWorld, they’re forced to swim in circles inside small tanks filled with chemically treated water.

In addition to the long-suffering orcas, SeaWorld also imprisons other sentient beings, such as bottlenose dolphins, who endure psychological stress from captivity.

The tiny tanks that captive orcas and bottlenose dolphins are confined to leave them nothing to do but swim in circles, ram their heads against the tank walls, or float listlessly. The reverberations from their sonar bounce off the walls, often driving them insane.

Please join Tony—because the captive animals at SeaWorld need us. Help all the animals imprisoned by SeaWorld today by taking a moment to ask the company to immediately set in place a firm and rapid plan to release all the animals to sanctuaries where they will be given a semblance of the natural life they have been denied for so long.

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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