Dying Orca’s Story Is Like ‘Blackfish’ 2.0

For Immediate Release:
July 19, 2017

David Perle 202-483-7382

San Diego – In light of reports that the orca Kasatka may be near death at SeaWorld San Diego, PETA has compiled the sad details of her life here, starting with her abduction from her family pod in the wild in 1978.

Shockingly, Kasatka has been transferred in and out of SeaWorld’s four parks (including the now-defunct SeaWorld Ohio) 14 times in just eight years. She has given birth to four calves—two of whom were the result of rape via artificial insemination—and is a grandmother or great-grandmother to eight other orcas, one of whom has already died and several of whom she has never met, even though wild orcas usually live in matrilineal family pods for life. A fiercely protective mother, she grew more aggressive with trainers after her calves’ births. She charged a trainer in 1999 and attacked him in 2006, prompting Cal/OSHA to warn, “[I]f someone hasn’t been killed already it is only a matter of time before it does happen,” just a few years before now-deceased Blackfish subject Tilikum killed trainer Dawn Brancheau, the third human fatality inflicted by this incensed orca.

Kasatka is now showing signs of severe illness and infection—contributing factors in more than half of the orca deaths at SeaWorld’s parks—and her condition is so poor that former SeaWorld trainer Dr. Jeffrey Ventre compared it to “end stage AIDS.”

“After decades of rape, torment, and imprisonment, Kasatka is apparently in the midst of a miserable death, like other orcas at SeaWorld before her,” says Delcianna Winders, vice president and deputy general counsel of Captive Animal Law Enforcement with the PETA Foundation. “While it may be too late for her, it’s not too late for SeaWorld to heed PETA’s call to build sea sanctuaries for the other orcas serving life sentences in its tanks, including Kasatka’s newborn grandchild in San Antonio.”

PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment,” and more information is available at SeaWorldOfHurt.com.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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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