Tilikum the Orca Is Secret Pleader in New Billboard Blitz Against SeaWorld

Tilly Appeals for Release of Marine Park Captives to Coastal Sanctuaries

For Immediate Release:
July 11, 2016

Contact:
Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

Orlando, Fla. – “Joel, every night I lie alone in the tub and cry” is the message to SeaWorld CEO Joel Manby on new billboards that PETA has launched as part of a series of ads visible within minutes of SeaWorld Orlando, reminding would-be visitors of the plight of Blackfish subject Tilikum and other marine mammals held captive at the facility in anguish and torment for decades. The ads will run through July 31 and are on South Orange Avenue at Zell Drive, McCoy Road near South Orange Ave, and Central Florida Parkway.

Tilikum the orca

“PETA’s billboards put Tilikum’s decades of misery and stress in a different light, allowing people to relate to how this sensitive and intelligent individual must feel as a result of being imprisoned in a tiny concrete tank,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA urges families to steer clear of SeaWorld until it builds coastal sanctuaries where the orcas can feel the ocean currents, hear their families’ calls, and have some semblance of a normal life.”

Tilikum—who was captured off the coast of Iceland in 1983 at just 2 years old—has been at SeaWorld since 1992, where for decades, he has been housed in tiny concrete tanks with aggressive, incompatible orcas who frequently leave him torn up and bloodied. He has been forced to father 21 calves—more than half of whom have died—to follow in his miserable footsteps, and a lifetime of constant deprivation and stress has driven him to kill three human beings and wear his teeth down to nubs from gnawing on metal tank bars.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—notes that in the wild, orcas form complex social relationships and swim as far as 100 miles every day. But at SeaWorld, they swim listlessly in circles in barren concrete tanks that, to them, are the size of a bathtub. Many break their teeth from gnawing on metal tank bars out of stress and are given the drug diazepam to manage aggressive, psychotic behavior. At least 26 orcas have died in U.S. SeaWorld facilities since 1986, and not one died of old age.

For more information, please visit SeaWorldOfHurt.com.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.

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