Newborn Orca Begs for Freedom in New PETA Billboard

Ahead of Mother's Day, Orca Calf in Glass Bowl Calls for SeaWorld to Release Marine Mammals Into Coastal Sanctuaries

For Immediate Release:
May 10, 2017

David Perle 202-483-7382

San Antonio – Just in time for Mother’s Day, drivers headed toward SeaWorld will now get a message directly from the newest orca calf to be born at the park, thanks to a new PETA billboard showing an orca in a glass bowl next to the words “They Call It SeaWorld, but I’ve Never Seen Either.”

The billboard—erected just weeks after the orca Takara gave birth to the last orca calf to be born in SeaWorld’s tanks—is located along the east side of Loop 410 (facing south), north of Old Pearsall Road, and will be up until the end of the month.

“If SeaWorld refuses to change, the last orca born at its parks will live and die in a concrete tank without ever seeing or feeling the ocean,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA’s billboard calls on SeaWorld to start building sea sanctuaries where these animals could have some semblance of a normal life.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—notes that in the wild, orcas often live alongside their siblings, mothers, and grandmothers for life. Takara was separated from her own mother when she was 13 years old, has given birth to five calves—two of whom were taken away from her at a young age—and has never met her grandchildren. Her family members are currently dispersed among SeaWorld’s three parks in the U.S. as well as the notorious Loro Parque in Spain.

In the wild, orcas travel as far as 100 miles every day with their family pods. But at SeaWorld, they swim listlessly in circles in barren tanks that, to them, are the size of a bathtub. Many break their teeth by gnawing on metal tank bars out of stress. Nearly 40 have died on SeaWorld’s watch, and not one had reached old age.

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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