PETA Nabs First SeaWorld Stock in Bid to Get Orcas, Dolphins Out of Cement Prisons

Shareholder Resolutions to Release Enslaved Animals Back Into the Wild to Be Filed at First Opportunity

For Immediate Release:
April 19, 2013

David Perle 202-483-7382

Orlando, Fla. — This morning, as the stock went on sale, PETA’s order, sitting in the wings, allowed the group to purchase enough shares of Orlando-based SeaWorld common stock to give the group the right to attend and speak at annual meetings and to submit shareholder resolutions. PETA, which was among the first to purchase shares during SeaWorld’s initial public offering, will try to end the suffering endured by the orcas, dolphins, and other animals who are confined to tiny barren tanks for human amusement at SeaWorld facilities in Orlando, San Antonio, and San Diego. PETA wants SeaWorld to stop breeding and acquiring animals and also to release the orcas and dolphins it currently holds captive to coastal sanctuaries and, where possible, have them rehabilitated and released into the ocean.

“PETA’s goal is to stop SeaWorld from imposing a life of misery, confinement, and cruelty on orcas and dolphins,” says general counsel to PETA Jeffrey Kerr. “Depriving these highly intelligent social animals of all that’s natural to them causes them to chew on metal underwater gates and concrete, breaking their teeth out of sheer frustration and aggression.”

The captive orcas often express their stress through aggression by charging each other, resulting in wounds so severe that they are left out of shows and shaken for days. They also gnaw at tank gates, sometimes breaking their teeth, and often die prematurely. SeaWorld also lists more than 100 incidents of orca aggression—including trainer injuries and death—in its own incomplete records. PETA warns that the trainer who died in a February 2010 incident will not be the last victim as long as the animals are kept so frustrated in captivity.

In the wild, orcas share intricate relationships, and males in some populations spend their entire lives with their mothers. Pods have their own cultures, including unique dialects, and the animals swim as many as 100 miles every day. At SeaWorld, orcas continually turn in circles in small concrete tanks, which, in human terms, are equivalent to the size of a bathtub, and are also forced to perform circus-style tricks for food.

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