Photos: ‘Orca’ Arrested During Baggage Claim Protest of SeaWorld Cruelty

PETA Supporters Demand Freedom for Orcas at Orlando Airport

For Immediate Release:
December 23, 2015

Catie Cryar 202-483-7382

Orlando, Fla. – Passengers arriving at Orlando International Airport got a surprise today when a pair of “orcas” climbed on top of the baggage carousels to lead a group of PETA members in calling on tourists to stay away from SeaWorld this holiday season. One of the “orcas” was arrested and charged with misdemeanor trespass and taken to an Orange County jail. Photos can be seen here.

“PETA’s protester may have to spend a night in a jail cell, but that’s nothing compared to the lifelong imprisonment of orcas at SeaWorld, who are without freedom, family, or anything else that’s natural and important to them,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “Nobody with a heart should ever buy a ticket to SeaWorld, not during the holidays or any other time of the year.”

Instead of traversing vast expanses of ocean every day with their families, orcas at SeaWorld are forced to float idly and swim endless circles in tanks of chemically treated water. The constant stress takes its toll on the orcas, who exhibit abnormal behavior and have died at a rate of nearly one per year. Just yesterday, Unna, an orca at SeaWorld San Antonio, died far short of her natural life expectancy from an infection common in orcas in captivity—making her the 38th orca used by SeaWorld to die. PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—is calling on SeaWorld to develop coastal sanctuaries where the orcas could finally have some semblance of a natural life.

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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