PETA Donates $10,000 Toward National Aquarium’s Dolphin Seaside Sanctuary

Marine Mammal Mascot Celebrates Landmark Decision to Retire Captive Cetaceans

For Immediate Release:
August 17, 2016

David Perle 202-483-7382

Baltimore – As a token of support for the National Aquarium’s recent groundbreaking decision—the first by a marine park—to transfer the dolphins confined to its tanks to a seaside sanctuary, PETA has sent the organization a $10,000 donation—and is celebrating this victory for animals with the help of a costumed “dolphin”:

“PETA is pleased to support the National Aquarium’s move to end the confinement of these intelligent and sensitive marine animals,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “This landmark decision sets a tremendous precedent and will give these dolphins the chance to feel ocean currents, hear wild dolphins’ calls, and enjoy a taste of freedom.”

CEO John Racanelli explained the National Aquarium’s decision in a recent op-ed, writing, “[D]olphins do indeed thrive when they can form social groups, have opportunities to express natural behaviors and live in a habitat as similar as possible to that for which nature so superbly designed them.” He also pointed to the new experiences that the dolphins will be able to have in the sanctuary—“[t]hey have never before felt the rain on their dorsal fins, chased a mullet along a mangrove shore or teased a startled crab”—and concluded that “[a]lthough this decision is about a group of dolphins, it is every bit as much about our humanity; for the way a society treats the animals with whom it shares this planet speaks volumes about us.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—notes that, in the wild, marine mammals share intricate social relationships, work cooperatively to find food, and traverse up to 100 miles of ocean every day—all types of behavior that are thwarted in tanks.

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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