Memorial to Commemorate Anniversary of SeaWorld Trainer’s Death

PETA Supporters to Leave Wreath, Call for End to Orca Imprisonment

For Immediate Release:
February 23, 2015

David Perle 202-483-7382

Orlando, Fla. – On Tuesday, PETA supporters will honor the fifth anniversary of SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau’s violent death—from a fatal attack by imprisoned orca Tilikum—by laying a commemorative wreath and candle outside SeaWorld, flanked by a sign reading, “In Memory of Dawn Brancheau, Who Needn’t Have Died, and for the Orca Tilikum, Whose Imprisonment at SeaWorld Is a Living Death.” As highlighted by the 2013 documentary Blackfish, the cruel confinement of orcas has led to the tragic deaths of several human trainers and dozens of animals.

Where:           International Drive and Central Florida Parkway, Orlando

When:             Tuesday, February 24, 12 p.m.

“As long as Tilikum and other orcas continue to languish in SeaWorld’s barren tanks, human trainers and the animals themselves will be at risk,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “SeaWorld’s disregard for the safety of its employees cost Dawn Brancheau her life and is one of many reasons why PETA encourages people to steer clear of marine parks that cruelly imprison animals.”

The stress that orcas are forced to endure in SeaWorld’s cramped tanks has led to more than 100 incidents—documented in the park’s own records—in which orcas have bitten, rammed, lunged at, pinned, and swum aggressively with human trainers. Many of these incidents resulted in human injuries, including a near-death encounter experienced by another trainer.

PETA, whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment,” encourages people to visit only interactive parks that don’t condemn animals to a lifetime of suffering.

For more information, please visit

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


Get PETA Updates

Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.

 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