Will Newly Reappointed CEO Retire Lonely Orca From Seaquarium?

PETA Will Urge Head of Parques Reunidos to Free Lolita, Other Marine Mammals From Cramped Tanks

For Immediate Release:
February 19, 2019

David Perle 202-483-7382

Miami – Since Parques Reunidos—the parent company of the Miami Seaquarium—has reappointed José Díaz as its CEO after a five-year absence, PETA sent him a letter this morning urging him to move the orcas in the company’s parks (including Marineland Antibes in France) to seaside sanctuaries.

In the letter, PETA points out that since Díaz stepped down as CEO, the world has gained a new awareness of the ways orcas suffer in marine parks. Lolita—the only orca at the Miami Seaquarium—has spent nearly half a century in a cramped tank, where she’s been without the companionship of any member of her own species since 1980, when her tankmate, Hugo, died in an apparent suicide after ramming his head into the tank wall. Another four orcas are imprisoned at Marineland, where at least 12 orcas have died since 1970.

“The newest executive lineup at Parques Reunidos represents a chance for a fresh start for the five orcas imprisoned in its parks,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is calling on the company’s newly reappointed CEO to move these orcas to seaside sanctuaries where they’ll be able to dive deep, feel the ocean currents, and finally live the way they’re meant to.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—will also confront Díaz at the company’s annual meeting next month. The group purchased stock in Parques Reunidos in 2017 specifically so that it could influence management decisions from the inside and liaise with other shareholders.

PETA’s letter is available upon request. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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