Protesting ‘Santas’ Outside SeaWorld Will Mark 54th Year Since Corky’s Capture and Confinement

For Immediate Release:
December 7, 2023

David Perle 202-483-7382

San Diego – On Sunday, the day before the 54th anniversary of Corky the orca’s capture from her ocean home, PETA supporters dressed in Santa Claus costumes will descend on SeaWorld to push the abusement park to see the strength of public opinion against her ho-ho-horrible confinement and release her into a seaside sanctuary.

When:    Sunday, December 10, 12 noon

Where:    500 Sea World Dr. (at the intersection of Sea World Drive and Sea World Way), San Diego

Corky, the longest-held captive orca in the world, was sold into the entertainment industry after being torn from her family off the coast of British Columbia in 1969. She was used for years as a breeding machine, but none of her calves survived past 47 days. Her last pregnancy ended in a miscarriage when her dead baby was found at the bottom of a concrete tank at SeaWorld.

“Corky belongs in the ocean, yet SeaWorld is stubbornly holding her prisoner in a cramped, chemically treated tank equivalent to the size of a bathtub for a human,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “No one can turn back the clock on her capture, but now, before she dies, she must be released into a seaside sanctuary, where she could dive deep, swim free, and even possibly reunite with her family.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview.

For more information, please visit, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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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