Bloody, Wounded Turtle at SeaWorld Prompts Another Federal Complaint

Veterinarian's Assessment Is That Endangered or Threatened Animal's Flesh Is Rotting Away

For Immediate Release:
September 15, 2014

David Perle 202-483-7382

Orlando, Fla. Vice‘s recent scathing report on SeaWorld included photographs of what appears to be either an endangered green or threatened loggerhead sea turtle suffering from a “raw, bloody wound” above his or her left front leg. The photograph has prompted PETA to send an urgent letter today asking the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) to investigate SeaWorld Orlando for any violations of the Endangered Species Act, which prohibits harming or harassing protected animals.

As PETA notes in its letter, a veterinarian who examined the photos assessed that the sea turtle’s wound “[d]efinitely seems to be infected” and that the “yellow stuff” in and around the wound “is all necrotic material.” PETA—whose motto includes the words “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—is calling on the FWS to take any and all action necessary to protect the turtle, including seizing him or her from SeaWorld.

“It’s stressful enough for any sea turtle to be on display in SeaWorld’s tiny enclosures, let alone a turtle with an oozing, rotting injury,” says PETA Foundation Director of Animal Law Jared Goodman. “PETA is calling on the authorities to step in and ensure that SeaWorld isn’t allowing endangered and protected animals to suffer in pain.”

At SeaWorld, at least 36 orcas, dozens of dolphins, and many other animals have died, many far short of their natural life spans, from causes ranging from severe trauma to fungal infections. Attributable in part to the backlash from Blackfish and scathing articles such as Vice‘s, SeaWorld’s stock has tanked. PETA, as a strategic stockholder, is calling on SeaWorld to let the orcas out of the tanks and into spacious offshore coastal sanctuaries.

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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