Breaking: SeaWorld Secretly Sends ‘Rescued’ Dolphins to Abu Dhabi

For Immediate Release:
November 30, 2022

David Perle 202-483-7382

Orlando, Fla.

PETA has just learned that SeaWorld secretly shipped 24 dolphins—two of whom were “rescued” and then put on public display—to Abu Dhabi to be exploited in its new park there. Meanwhile, the public remains unaware that “rescued” animals could be used as breeding machines, forced to perform tricks, and shipped to the other side of the Earth, instead believing that SeaWorld releases all the animals.

In addition to nine others sent from Orlando, the dolphins sent to Abu Dhabi include Alice, who was “rescued” in 2007, imprisoned at SeaWorld San Antonio, and forcibly bred in the company’s dolphin-breeding program, in which staff pull female dolphins out of the water—sometimes after drugging them so that they can’t fight back—and shove tubes filled with semen into their uteruses. Alice gave birth to two calves via this forced insemination.

“If these dolphins are healthy enough to be shipped around the world, they’re healthy enough to be released to coastal sanctuaries,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “Only a sham ‘rescue’ would use a wild dolphin who needed help as a breeding machine and force her to perform tricks in a concrete pool a world away, and PETA is urging the public to stay away from SeaWorld’s abusement parks.”

In nature, dolphins swim up to 60 miles per day in family pods, but at SeaWorld facilities in the U.S., over 100 of them are confined to just seven cramped, barren tanks. Dolphins are kept in artificial social groups, so aggression among them is common. Their psychological and physiological needs aren’t being met in these conditions, causing tremendous stress, which can result in painful ulcers and infections. PETA is pushing SeaWorld to release all the dolphins in its parks to seaside sanctuaries, where they could dive to greater depths, swim longer distances, and engage in other types of natural behavior.

PETA learned about the dolphin transfer through Ceta-Base, an organization that tracks captive cetaceans. Ceta-Base reports that the animals were sent to SeaWorld Abu Dhabi from all three SeaWorld parks as well as SeaWorld’s Discovery Cove.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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