Park Reportedly Looking to Sell Off Animals—PETA Says It'll Help With Cost of Building a Sea Sanctuary
For Immediate Release:
June 26, 2020
David Perle 202-483-7382
Orlando, Fla. – Reports are floating about that SeaWorld may file for bankruptcy and seek to “offload” some or all of the animals at its parks in order to cut costs and make the business more appealing to potential buyers, so PETA sent a letter this morning calling on the chair of its board to stop breeding more dolphins and whales immediately. PETA has also reiterated its offer to donate a quarter of a million dollars toward building a sea sanctuary if SeaWorld agrees to move the animals there.
“If SeaWorld is going under, the last thing it should be doing is producing more generations of dolphins and whales just to have them suffer in cramped tanks,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA is calling on SeaWorld to stop all animal breeding and win back its fleeing audiences with animatronic dolphins, interactive digital aquariums, and other cost-effective, futuristic fare.”
PETA recently submitted a shareholder question calling for SeaWorld to end its much-lambasted dolphin- and whale-breeding programs. SeaWorld staff masturbate unwilling male dolphins and remove females from the water, sometimes drugging them so that they can’t fight back, and shove tubes of semen into their uteruses. After previous PETA shareholder actions, SeaWorld ended its sordid orca-breeding program and stopped allowing trainers to stand on dolphins’ faces and surf on their backs.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit SeaWorldOfHurt.com.
PETA’s letter to Scott Ross, chair of SeaWorld’s board and founder and managing partner of Hill Path Capital LP, follows.
June 26, 2020
Founder and Managing Partner
Hill Path Capital LP
Dear Mr. Ross,
I’m writing on behalf of PETA following the Orlando Weekly‘s recent article suggesting that SeaWorld is considering filing for bankruptcy and may be looking to “offload” some or all of the animals in its parks in order to reduce animal care costs and make the park more appealing to potential buyers. If either or both of these points are true, SeaWorld must stop breeding more dolphins and whales. As you are the chair of the company’s board and the founder of its largest shareholder, Hill Path Capital LP, we look to you to take that step.
Instead of producing generations of animals to suffer in cramped tanks at its parks—something the public has shown it doesn’t support—SeaWorld could easily install cutting-edge forms of entertainment that allow ticket-holders to feel that they’re interacting with real animals when they’re not. This move would save you significant money, as there would be no animal care expenses, and it would win back visitors who now shun the parks. Animatronic dolphins look, feel, and act just like real dolphins, and interactive digital aquariums have been called the way of the future.
As COVID-19 continues to threaten SeaWorld, a marine park in Australia is proposing to move the dolphins it has to a seaside sanctuary. The National Aquarium has also chosen to send dolphins to a sanctuary, and The Whale Sanctuary Project plans to build the first refuge for whales in North America. PETA’s offer still stands to donate a significant sum toward building a seaside sanctuary if SeaWorld will agree to stop breeding dolphins and whales and release them into it.
May we hear from you?
Very truly yours,
Ingrid E. Newkirk