Protesters at SeaWorld to Demand Freedom for Orcas Now

PETA Calls for Coastal Sanctuaries, Not More Years of Whale Jail

For Immediate Release:
March 18, 2016

David Perle 202-483-7382

Led by a costumed “orca,” PETA members will descend on SeaWorld San Diego on Saturday with signs proclaiming, “One Step Forward for Orcas … Now Empty the Tanks!” The action comes on the heels of SeaWorld’s announcement that it will no longer breed orcas—but it still refuses to build coastal sanctuaries where the currently captive orcas, dolphins, walruses, and other animals could lead a more natural life.

Where:           SeaWorld, 500 Sea World Dr. (near Sea World Way), San Diego

When:             Saturday, March 19, 11 a.m.

“An end to orca breeding is a huge step in the right direction, but all the animals still suffering in SeaWorld’s tiny tanks need to be rehabilitated and released or moved to seaside sanctuaries,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is calling on SeaWorld to let these long-suffering animals feel the ocean currents, hear their families’ calls, and finally have a taste of freedom—even if they can’t be released into the open ocean.”

In the wild, orcas share intricate social relationships, work cooperatively to find food, and traverse 100 miles of ocean every day. At SeaWorld, orcas are housed in incompatible groups in tiny tanks, break their teeth by gnawing on metal tank bars, and are often given the drug diazepam to manage stress-induced, aggressive psychotic behavior.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—will also rally outside SeaWorld’s parks in Orlando and San Antonio.

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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