PETA Statement: Orca at SeaWorld, Tilikum, Very Ill

For Immediate Release:
March 8, 2016

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Below, please find a statement from PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk in response to SeaWorld’s report that Tilikum, an orca at SeaWorld, is in declining health:

The sickness at SeaWorld is with its management, which has deliberately caused Tilikum—the subject of Blackfish, the damning documentary about SeaWorld—to suffer immensely by confining him to a small concrete tank for decades, causing him to succumb to mental illness that has resulted in aggression and now to some incurable illness. When SeaWorld feels that it must make a statement about Tilly’s ill health, PETA bets that it’s anticipating someone is about to blow the whistle about his illness or reveal that he’s dying and that the people who have exploited him to line their pockets all these years know that. If Tilikum never sees the ocean again, after being stolen from it 30 years ago, his blood will be on SeaWorld’s hands and on the walls of his miserable concrete prison tank.

He was torn away from his home and family in the wild at the age of 3, and he grew so massive in tiny tanks that he could not escape the aggressive, incompatible orcas who would leave him torn up and bloodied. The constant stress and deprivation have driven him to kill three human beings and to wear his teeth to the nubs from chewing on the underwater bars of his prison. Since SeaWorld can no longer capture orcas from the wild, it has used Tilikum as its chief breeding machine, churning out more performers for a miserable life that no one would ever willingly choose. It’s time for SeaWorld to move the orcas to sanctuaries, where they could enjoy a more natural life.

PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment.” More information about our campaign is available at SeaWorldOfHurt.com.

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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