Local Innovators Nab PETA Award for First-of-Its-Kind Animatronic Dolphin

Edge Innovations Designers Recognized for Creating Robotic Dolphin That Will Help Replace Live Animals in Cruel Marine Parks

For Immediate Release:
June 22, 2020

David Perle 202-483-7382

Hayward, Calif. – For creating a jaw-dropping animatronic dolphin that has the potential to upend the cruel captive marine mammal industry, PETA is sending an Innovator for Animals Award to Roger Holzberg and Walt Conti of Edge Innovations.

“These visionary designers have thrown a lifeline to sensitive dolphins who are exploited in ‘swim with dolphins’ encounters and archaic marine parks,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is honoring them for making waves with this high-tech invention that lets people get up close to dolphins without harming them.”

The Oscar-winning documentary The Cove exposes the cruel side of “swim with dolphins” programs, including that young wild dolphins are traumatically abducted from their frantic mothers, sometimes illegally. The less attractive ones may be killed, and the others are sold to parks around the world, where they’re frequently confined to cramped tanks and unable to swim long distances or escape conflicts with other frustrated dolphins. The stress of captivity can result in painful ulcers and infections and even premature death.

In marine parks like SeaWorld, the highly intelligent, far-ranging animals are forced to swim in circles in small, chemically treated tanks and are used as breeding machines to create generations of captive animals. Unwilling female dolphins are dragged out of the water and forcibly impregnated, sometimes after being drugged so that they can’t fight back. Some endure this process repeatedly, only to have their babies die or be shipped to other SeaWorld parks.

PETA Australia is sending an Innovator for Animals Award to Melanie Langlotz of Geo AR Games in New Zealand for her pivotal work with Edge Innovations to create the animatronic dolphin.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit SeaWorldofHurt.com.


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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