What’s in the Box? Crying ‘Orca’ to Call for Release From SeaWorld

PETA to Converge on Orlando to Demand That Cruel Marine-Mammal Prison Retire Tilikum to a Seaside Sanctuary on the Anniversary of His Cruel Capture

For Immediate Release:
November 7, 2013

Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

Orlando, Fla. – For the 30th anniversary of the capture of Tilikum—the orca who killed SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010—a giant, mysterious crate is sure to draw onlookers in downtown Orlando on Friday. The crate, which will emit high-pitched orca distress calls, will be emblazoned with labels reading, “Shipping to SeaWorld” and “Live Orca.” PETA members flanking the orca crate will hold signs that read “Free Tilikum!” and “30 Years of Captivity Is 30 Years Too Many,” and encourage passersby to stay away from SeaWorld. PETA is urging SeaWorld to begin funding the creation of coastal sanctuaries where the orcas held captive at SeaWorld can spend the remainder of their lives in as natural a setting as possible.

When:   Friday, November 8, 12 noon

Where:  206 S. Orange Ave. (near the intersection with Church Street), Orlando

Locking intelligent, sensitive marine mammals in concrete tanks and depriving them of all that’s natural and important to them leads them to violent acts of frustration and perhaps revenge killings. In the wild, orcas share intricate relationships with one another, swim as far as 100 miles every day, and work cooperatively to find food. Tilikum, like many orcas at SeaWorld, was rounded up rodeo-style and taken from his family in the wild 30 years ago. For a year following Brancheau’s death, he was often held in a tank only a few feet longer than his body, left to suffer in isolation, and denied exercise and enrichment.

“Families who learn how SeaWorld separates baby orcas from their families and condemns them to a lifetime in a tiny tank will never set foot in the theme park again,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Delcianna Winders. “PETA is calling for these once free-living animals to be released from the misery of captivity and returned to the ocean, where they belong.”

For more information, please visit SeaWorldOfHurt.com. Blackfish—the acclaimed documentary about Tilikum’s capture and life in captivity—will be available for purchase as well as on Netflix on November 12.

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