Million-Dollar Munchkin Offer to Be Matched by PETA—if SeaWorld Retires Orcas to Sanctuary

Offer Follows Retailer's Promise to Donate $1 Million Toward Construction of Seaside Sanctuary

For Immediate Release:
November 19, 2015

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

On the heels of retailer Munchkin’s offer to donate $1 million toward the construction of a coastal sanctuary for captive orcas, PETA is making an offer to match the funds—if SeaWorld agrees to retire all the orcas it holds captive to the new facility. A coastal sanctuary would allow suffering orcas like Tilikum to swim in open water and engage in other natural behavior with limited interaction with human beings.

“SeaWorld played fast and loose with the public last week with its misleading announcement of what were ultimately nothing more than superficial changes to its cruel orca shows,” says PETA Foundation Director of Animal Law Jared Goodman. “PETA is calling on SeaWorld to do the right thing for the animals in its care by throwing its resources into the construction of a seaside sanctuary, where, at long last, they can experience some semblance of a natural life.”

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

PETA’s letter to SeaWorld CEO Joel Manby follows.

November 19, 2015

Joel Manby
President, CEO, and Director
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment

Dear Mr. Manby,

On behalf of our 3 million members and supporters worldwide, PETA is prepared to match Munchkin, Inc.’s, generous $1 million pledge toward the creation of a coastal sanctuary for Tilikum and other captive orcas. We hope the national outrage and many moving editorials—including one in The Washington Post that was widely shared this week—in response to your inadequate plans for the orcas’ future inspire you to take this offer seriously. SeaWorld’s only chance to gain the public’s trust is to take a meaningful step toward ending the cruel confinement of orcas.

You inherited a sinking ship when you became the CEO of a theme park that has spent 50 years profiting off the confinement of marine life. Millennials, your stated target visitors, understand that intelligent animals like orcas are suffering and dying in SeaWorld’s tanks. Earlier this year, Ringling Bros. circus finally listened to the public’s outcry and announced plans to change its 100-year-old business by phasing out elephant acts. When will SeaWorld wake up and do the same for orcas?

We stand alongside Munchkin in offering $1 million toward the building of a coastal sanctuary for Tilikum and the orcas at SeaWorld—that’s one dollar for every visitor lost last year. Be a hero to the orcas and the millions of kind people who will cheer the decision by taking us up on the offer. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Tracy Reiman
Executive Vice President
PETA

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.

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“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