Photos—Happening Now: ‘Orcas’ Take Over Baggage Claim to Protest SeaWorld Cruelty

PETA Supporters Demand Freedom for Orcas at San Diego Airport

For Immediate Release:
July 2, 2015

David Perle 202-483-7382

San Diego – Passengers arriving at San Diego International Airport are getting a surprise right now, as a pair of “orcas” have climbed to the top of the baggage carousels to lead a group of PETA members in calling on tourists to steer clear of the cruel circus-style orca shows at SeaWorld. Photos can be seen here.


“SeaWorld sentences far-ranging orcas to a lifetime of captivity in tiny concrete tanks, and that will stop when no one buys tickets anymore,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is calling on San Diego visitors to keep SeaWorld off their itineraries until the park agrees to build coastal sanctuaries where the orcas could finally have some semblance of a natural life.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—points out that SeaWorld has separated at least 19 offspring from their mothers. And instead of traversing vast expanses of ocean every day with their families, SeaWorld forces orcas to float idly and swim endless circles in tanks of chemically treated water and perform circus-style tricks for food. The constant stress takes its toll on the orcas, who exhibit abnormal behavior and have died at a rate of nearly one per year and at much younger ages than their counterparts in the wild. Following the release of Blackfish, attendance at SeaWorld parks dropped and the company was named one of the most hated in the U.S. in a Consumerist poll.

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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