Former SeaWorld Site Should Include a Dolphin Memorial, Says PETA

For Immediate Release:
November 10, 2020

Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382

Cleveland, Ohio

This afternoon, PETA dispatched a letter to Industrial Commercial Properties—the Cleveland-based property development firm that purchased the former SeaWorld Ohio property and has said that its design will “pay homage to the history” of the site—encouraging the company to do the right thing by including a memorial to the 10 dolphins who died prematurely at the park during its operation.

“As this site embraces a future that’s free of animal abusement parks, the memory of the captive dolphins who lost their lives there mustn’t be lost to the past,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is offering to help design a memorial that would pay tribute to their years of suffering and to the more than 100 dolphins who are still trapped in SeaWorld’s concrete tanks elsewhere.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit or or follow the group on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram.

PETA’s letter to Industrial Commercial Properties Chief Operating Officer Chris Salata follows.

November 10, 2020

Chris Salata

Chief Operating Officer

Industrial Commercial Properties LLC

Dear Mr. Salata:

I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our more than 6.5 million members and supporters worldwide following the news that Industrial Commercial Properties bought the former SeaWorld Ohio property in Aurora. As you transform this land for new businesses and homes while paying homage to its history, will you please include a memorial to ensure that the animal suffering and deaths at the abusement park won’t be forgotten? We’d be pleased to collaborate with you on such a project.

When SeaWorld Ohio was still in business, it confined highly intelligent and social animals to cramped, chemically treated tanks and deprived them of opportunities to swim far, dive deep, and choose their own mates. Ten dolphins died during this time—many prematurely—from causes such as systemic infection, lung disease, and gastrointestinal disease.

While animals are no longer held captive at this location, hundreds of dolphins and other animals are still suffering at SeaWorld parks across the country. Dolphins and whales are being forcibly impregnated—sometimes after being drugged—and used as breeding machines to create generations of suffering animals, and 140 dolphins are squeezed into just seven small tanks, where they can’t escape attacks from other frustrated, aggressive animals.

In the midst of the global pandemic and growing awareness of injustice to others, people are searching their souls and examining their impact on society. For most organizations, this societal reckoning includes reflecting on all the deeply disturbing ways in which animals have been and still are being violated. We hope you’ll agree that a memorial to the dolphins who died at SeaWorld would go a long way toward ensuring that others don’t endure the same fate in the future.

Thank you for your consideration.

Very truly yours,

Melanie Johnson

Manager, Animals in Entertainment Campaign

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