Veterinarian Finds Orcas at SeaWorld With Scars and Broken Teeth, Walruses in Psychological Distress

PETA to Hold News Conference to Discuss Findings, Call for Immediate Federal Action

For Immediate Release:
August 12, 2015

David Perle 202-483-7382

Orlando, Fla. – PETA Foundation veterinarian Dr. Heather Rally, who is experienced in working with marine mammals, has found what she believes are multiple violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act at SeaWorld Orlando, including evidence of orcas with scarring, likely from fighting, and severe dental trauma, including broken teeth, likely the result of biting on the bars and sides of tanks out of boredom, stress, and frustration. An isolated orca floated listlessly, and walruses swam in circles repeatedly—both of which indicate psychological distress. Dolphins were also allowed to come into direct and unsupervised contact with members of the public despite exhibiting skin lesions, which are often associated with environmental stress, and other possibly infectious skin abnormalities.

PETA is calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to send inspectors to SeaWorld immediately to investigate these findings. Dr. Rally will join PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—for a news conference about her report on Thursday.

When:        Thursday, August 13, 12 p.m.

Where:       Aloft Orlando Downtown, 500 S. Orange Ave., Orlando

“I saw orcas at SeaWorld with scars, which are likely from inescapable fights that occurred as a result of locking up far-ranging marine mammals in incompatible groups in tiny concrete tanks,” says Dr. Rally. “I also witnessed evidence of psychological distress, including an orca who was floating listlessly and walruses who were swimming in endless circles.”

For more information, please visit

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


Get PETA Updates

Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.

 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