New Photos: Dolphins at SeaWorld With Open Wounds, Scars on Their Faces

PETA Calls For Immediate Investigation of Abusement Park Over Apparent Animal Welfare Violations

For Immediate Release:
July 30, 2019

David Perle 202-483-7382

Orlando, Fla.

Armed with damning photographic evidence from July 26 showing dolphins at SeaWorld Orlando with open wounds and scarring on their lower jaws, PETA sent an urgent letter today calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to investigate the facility for apparent violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act. Other dolphins who were used to perform circus tricks—some of which involve trainers standing on their rostrums, the beaklike projection of their mouths—also had scarring on their lower jaws, indicating past injuries that may have been caused, and exacerbated, by the tricks.

“Dolphins will continue to incur physical and emotional scars as long as they’re being used as surfboards, trainers are standing on their faces in sea circus shows, and they’re packed into SeaWorld’s tiny tanks,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Jared Goodman. “PETA is calling on authorities to investigate SeaWorld Orlando for holding these animals in conditions that injure them and callously continuing to use and exploit them despite these wounds.”

PETA’s complaint comes just one month after the group shared a veterinary report asserting that dolphins at all three SeaWorld parks have open wounds and extensive scarring on their faces and bodies. Trainers at the parks ride on their backs and stand on their faces during performances, placing their full bodyweight on the animals’ sensitive lower jaws, which can potentially damage their hearing, strain muscles and joints, and exacerbate the injuries caused by confinement to cramped tanks. In the wake of the report’s publication, actor Alec Baldwin urged SeaWorld executives at the company’s annual online meeting to end the cruel practice.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—notes that just last week, United Airlines stopped selling SeaWorld tickets and removed all mentions of the park from its United Vacations website, joining Virgin Holidays and Alaska, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit, Sunwing, and WestJet airlines in cutting ties with the abusement park.

PETA opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist view that fosters violence toward other animals. For more information, please visit

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