36.852 Unterschriften empfänger: Mundo Marino August 18th, 2018 ended up being a happy day for the people of San Clemente del Tuyu in eastern Argentina’s Buenos Aires province.
From the edge of the beach of the coastal town, residents could see a lifeless shape some 300 meters from the shore. Upon closer look, they realized it was a whale who was beached with almost 70% of its body exposed. Luckily they knew what to do. They called Mundo Marino’s Rescue and Rehabilitation Center and half a dozen members of the team sprang into action and launched a 20-hour rescue mission to save the young humpback whale. Soon the cetacean was free.
According to the Mundo Marino Foundation, the organization has rescued at least 30 whales and dolphins throughout its history.
But within those figures lies a sad irony.
While the Mundo Marino Foundation works to protect and free marine life, their sister organization Mundo Marino marine mammal park keeps several marine mammals in captivity. The park, which has been around since 1979 has orcas, sea lions, and dolphins which they force to perform for the paying crowds.
These animals aren’t toys, they are highly sentient beings that shouldn’t be used as props for our entertainment.
The park’s forced captivity of their own marine life sits in harsh contrast to their foundation’s mission of helping to rescue marine life in need.
Mundo Marino can’t have it both ways. They shouldn’t be allowed to hide behind their foundation while their own marine mammals suffer in tanks. Please call on Mundo Marino to do the right thing and release their animals to a sanctuary so that they can live the rest of their lives in peace.
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Help Retire Lolita and the Orcas at Marineland Antibes to a Seaside Sanctuary
Despite overwhelming evidence that orcas suffer in captivity and that the tide of public opinion has turned against marine mammal confinement, Miami Seaquarium and Marineland Antibes in France continue to confine intelligent, sensitive orcas to tiny concrete tanks.
Lolita was torn away from her family and natural habitat decades ago, along with dozens of other orcas in Puget Sound who were later sold to marine parks. Nearly a half-century later, she is the last surviving orca of the 45 who were captured and is still imprisoned by Miami Seaquarium—in the smallest, oldest orca tank in North America—while the rest of her pod, including an orca believed to be her mother, swims freely. Lolita is a member of the Southern Resident orca population—a group of orcas who are now protected as an endangered species, in large part because captures like hers decimated the population. Lolita has not had contact with another orca since 1980, when her tank mate, Hugo, died after repeatedly ramming his head into a wall.
Wikie, Inouk, Moana, and Keijo are trapped at Marineland Antibes, where at least 12 orcas have died since 1970, including two in 2015—among them, a 19-year-old named Valentin, who was killed by severe flooding along with many other animals. The park is a showcase of neglect and abuse: Orcas swim in repetitive patterns, vomit, chew on metal cage bars until they irreparably damage their teeth, and bang their heads against concrete walls. Four months before the floods, Valentin’s mother, Freya, also died—decades before the maximum life expectancy of female orcas in nature.
You can help free Lolita, Wikie, Inouk, Moana, and Keijo by urging the parent company of Miami Seaquarium and Marineland Antibes to retire them to a seaside sanctuary, where they could feel waves, hear wild pods, and finally have some semblance of a natural life. Use the form below to send an e-mail directly to the parks‘ parent company, Parques Reunidos, and Arle Capital Partners, its former owner and current shareholder.
Would you want to live your life trapped in a room the size of your bathtub? AAA CEO Robert Darbelnet probably wouldn’t, either.
So why is AAA promoting SeaWorld—where highly intelligent orcas are forced to live in tiny tanks and perform silly tricks to entertain humans?
It’s been more than four years since the release of the documentary Blackfish—whose „star,“ Tilikum, died after 33 years in a concrete tank—but orcas at SeaWorld are still swimming in endless circles and breaking their teeth by gnawing in frustration on the concrete corners and metal bars of their tiny tanks. Other dolphins are still being impregnated, sometimes forcibly after being drugged; a polar bear died after her companion of 20 years was torn away from her; and three infant marine mammals, including a 3-month old baby orca, died in just three months.
SeaWorld deprives orcas and other animals of everything that is important to them, and the unnatural conditions in SeaWorld’s chlorinated, barren tanks drive them crazy.
Tell Robert Darbelnet to take a stand against SeaWorld’s cruelty to animals by ending its promotions of SeaWorld! And don’t forget to follow up with a polite call to AAA at 407-444-8402 urging the company to end its affiliation to SeaWorld. (AAA’s office is only open from 8:30AM ET to 5:15PM ET.)
A lot of us grew up loving Shamu. We had pool floats, stuffed animals, and stickers of the famous orca. We begged our parents to take us to SeaWorld and swore that we’d be Shamu trainers one day. We bought what SeaWorld was selling—hook, line, and hefty price tag.
But that, of course, was before we knew the truth about SeaWorld. The real SeaWorld, the one that used explosives to separate orca pods in the wild, paid orca hunters to kill mothers and abduct their babies, withheld food from animals to force them to learn tricks, and covered up their deaths. That was before we knew that there wasn’t just one Shamu. There were many. And a lot of them died young in SeaWorld’s concrete tanks.
This is the real Shamu story.
The First Shamu
SeaWorld’s first “Shamu” was a female orca who was captured in the wild in 1965 when she was just 3 years old. Whalers harpooned and killed her mother and the young orca refused to leave her dead mom’s side. She was dragged away and sold to SeaWorld San Diego, where she was deprived of food in order to make her learn tricks and was trained to become the park’s first performing orca. She was used in shows until an incident in 1971 in which a park employee was instructed to ride on her back for a televised publicity stunt. When secretary Annette Eckis fell off Shamu’s back, the orca clamped her teeth down on the woman’s leg and refused to let go. A trainer had to shove a pole into Shamu’s mouth and pry her jaws open. Eckis—who needed more than 100 stitches—sued, and Shamu was retired from shows.
Shamu died that year at SeaWorld of pyometra (a uterine infection) and septicemia (blood poisoning). She was just 9 years old. In the wild, she could have lived to be older than 100.
More Parks, More Shamus
But SeaWorld had seen the kind of money that a performing orca could bring in. It had been capturing more cetaceans in the wild to add to its collection and had discovered that it could swap out different “Shamus” without people asking questions. The company trademarked “Shamu,” and it became a stage name that was given to any captive orca the park used in shows.
When SeaWorld opened more parks—in Cleveland in 1970, Orlando in 1973, and San Antonio in 1988—each got their own “Shamu” (played by a hodge-podge group of captured orcas) to sell park tickets and merchandise.
For captive-animal exhibitors, nothing brings in the money quite like a new baby. So SeaWorld introduced “Baby Shamu” at the Orlando park in 1985. Her actual name was Kalina, and she was the first orca to live after being born in captivity.
Some sources say that 10 captive-bred babies were born at SeaWorld before Kalina, all of whom were either stillborn or died within the first two months of life. We may never know the actual number. Until the U.S. amended the Marine Mammal Protection Act in 1994, parks weren’t required to report deaths, and often facilities still don’t give complete or comprehensive accounts. It’s clear why SeaWorld wouldn’t want to.
People clamored to see Baby Shamu, and when Kalina was just 4 years old, the company took her away from her mother and sent her to SeaWorld Ohio to increase ticket sales there. Ten months later, they moved her to San Diego. She was sent to San Antonio eight months after that. In nature, she likely would have stayed with her mother for life. While being held captive by SeaWorld, she was shipped all over the country and was shoved into one concrete tank after another with individuals who were strangers to her, many of whom didn’t even speak the same dialect.
Kalina was impregnated at just 6 years old. In the wild, the average age of reproduction is 15. She produced another Baby Shamu for SeaWorld and was soon impregnated again. In all, she had four calves: one who was stillborn and three who were taken away from her and shipped to other parks. She died in 2010 of septicemia at just 25 years old.
Every “Shamu” at SeaWorld had a tragic story. And one of those stories resonated with people around the world when it was chronicled in the groundbreaking documentary Blackfish, which told the truth about a “Shamu” whose actual name was Tilikum.
Kidnapped from waters off Iceland, Tilikum was abducted from his family pod at just 2 years old. He was shoved into small tanks that offered no escape from other suffering, frustrated captive orcas—the fights between them often left him injured and bloody. SeaWorld trainers withheld food from him in order to teach him to perform tricks, including rolling over so that employees could masturbate him and collect his semen in a container. The company used him as its chief sperm-producing machine in its program that was designed to inseminate female orcas forcibly so that they would churn out more captive performers who endured lives that no one would ever choose. He was bred 21 times, and 11 of his children died before he did. The constant stress and deprivation of captivity drove him to kill three humans, including trainer Dawn Brancheau. As is typical of animals at SeaWorld, he deteriorated both mentally and physically. Shortly after the release of Blackfish, he died after 33 years in captivity.
But the documentary aired regularly on CNN and was streamed on subscription services around the globe. Viewers were shocked as many of SeaWorld’s worst abuses of marine mammals played out on screens in front of them. People visited PETA’s website in droves to learn more about SeaWorld and the animals it imprisons. The park’s attendance numbers plummeted, revenue plunged, stock prices fell, and longtime high-ranking employees started to abandon ship.
In an attempt to save face—and after California refused to allow it to build new orca tanks, SeaWorld agreed to stop breeding the animals. It began to distance itself from the controversy by moving away from using the “Shamu” name. SeaWorld San Antonio President Carl Lum even said that the parks were focusing on a “Shamu-free future.”
The curtain had been pulled back. The fairytale of the orca Shamu who lived happily ever after at the park was over. We learned that the iconic animals we adored as children were suffering and dying in SeaWorld’s concrete tanks all along, and that orcas held at the parks will continue to do so. There can only be one happy ending to the Shamu story: the end of orca captivity.
Summer is around the corner, and because you’re a caring person, it’s time to gear up and remind people that SeaWorld is still a terrible place for animals and that they shouldn’t visit any marine park or aquarium. To help you prep, we’re giving away 10 of our “SeaWorld Sucks” shirts! To enter, all you have to do is take action for animals on the peta2 app between May 30 and June 7.*
It’s been more than four years since the release of the documentary Blackfish whose „star,“ Tilikum, died after 33 years in a concrete tank—but orcas at SeaWorld are still swimming in endless circles and breaking their teeth by gnawing in frustration on the concrete corners and metal bars of their tiny tanks. Other animals are still being impregnated, sometimes forcibly after being drugged, and an infant dolphin died just minutes after birth.
Dozens of companies—including JetBlue, Mattel, Southwest Airlines, STA Travel, and Taco Bell—have severed ties with the park. Yet AAA continues to promote the cruel company, which profits from keeping highly intelligent bottlenose dolphins and orcas in concrete tanks that, to them, are the size of bathtubs.
AAA says that feedback from its members and the public is its most valuable source of information, so we need your help to let it know that it’s wrong to promote an abusement park such as SeaWorld, which deprives complex, emotional, and social animals of everything that’s natural and important to them.
Please ask the motor club to do the right thing and stop promoting SeaWorld. If you’re a AAA member, please mention that in the message below and remind the company that cruelty to animals is a very serious issue to you.
Don’t forget to follow up with a polite call to the company at 407-444-8402 urging it to end its affiliation with SeaWorld. (Note: AAA’s office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. ET.)
An orca named Katina’s dorsal fin was split open—a potentially life-threatening injury—during what SeaWorld officials implied was an “interaction” with other orcas she’s confined with at SeaWorld Orlando in Florida.
SeaWorld is trying to trick people by claiming that such interactions between orcas are “a natural behavior we’d expect to see.” But the truth is that aggression is rarely seen in podmates in the wild. On the other hand, captive orcas, like those at SeaWorld, often fight because people have taken members of different pods from their homes or families and crammed them into cramped concrete tanks. When fights occur, there’s no way to escape because the tanks are so small.
Imagine the stress that these animals must be experiencing as they’re forced to live in a crowded, unnatural environment with strangers who often don’t even speak the same dialect.
Katina’s wound is deep, and a large chunk of her fin appears to be missing. Orca’s dorsal fins have an elaborate network of blood vessels that help the animals regulate body temperature. And while wild orcas have been known to survive severe trauma to their dorsal fins—such as that caused by being struck by boat propellers—healing is much harder for captive orcas. Large open wounds make them particularly susceptible to infections, which are the leading cause of death among captive orcas. Katina’s life depends on the wound’s successful healing.
In nature, Katina would be overseeing a family unit comprising several generations of her male and female offspring. She’d teach her pod to navigate vast ocean terrain, to speak a distinct dialect all its own, and to find food.
But at SeaWorld, she can only swim in circles in her barren prison. Her “pod” consists of only three immediate offspring—one who is the result of inbreeding with her son and another who is a grandson who wouldn’t normally live closely with his paternal grandmother in the wild. The remaining two “pod” members—including Malia, who is suffering from an infection that has caused lesions on her body—are completely unrelated.
PETA is lodging a complaint and demanding that the U.S. Department of Agriculture investigate SeaWorld for possible violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act. We’re also calling on the park to send the orcas to seaside sanctuaries, where they can live more natural lives.
What You Can Do
Don’t support SeaWorld or any other place that uses animals for entertainment. Don’t buy a ticket, and urge your friends and family to stay away, too.
SeaWorld Orlando is hosting a „Seven Seas Food Festival,“ and we need your help to let the entertainers scheduled to perform know that it’s wrong to support a company that deprives complex, emotional, and social orcas of everything that’s natural and important to them.
SeaWorld currently faces a class-action lawsuit by investors and a criminal fraud investigation, and in the past year has seen the deaths of seven marine mammals, including 3-month-old orca Kyara, her grandmother Kasatka, and her grandfather Tilikum, the orca featured in Blackfish. The abusement park is desperately trying to tempt people to visit with music and comedy performances at this food festival.
Even though compassionate artists and dozens of other bands—such as Willie Nelson, Cheap Trick, REO Speedwagon, Trisha Yearwood, Martina McBride, Barenaked Ladies, and 38 Special—canceled their performances at the abusement park El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico, Eli Young Band, and others are still set to participate, which will encourage their fans to support a company that forces highly intelligent orcas to perform confusing tricks and confines them to concrete tanks that are, to them, the size of a bathtub.
Entertainers listen to their fans, so please ask these performers to cancel their appearances at SeaWorld.
Please contact the following artists on their website contact pages and social media, asking them not to perform at SeaWorld:
- El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico: Facebook
- Eli Young Band: Twitter and Facebook
- America: Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram
After you contact these performers, take action below to send a message to El Gran Combo asking them to cancel their performances at SeaWorld.
I was disappointed to learn that you plan to perform at SeaWorld, despite overwhelming evidence that orcas and other animals confined there are treated cruelly.
Millions of people have watched the documentary „Blackfish“—whose „star,“ Tilikum, died along with two other orcas at the park in 2017—and learned the truth about the devastating physical and mental effects that this marine park has on the animals it confines. At least 40 orcas, hundreds of other dolphins and whales, and countless other animals have died at SeaWorld.
By performing at SeaWorld, you are endorsing this cruelty and inhibiting progress toward moving these animals to coastal sanctuaries, where they would be able to spend the remainder of their lives in a more natural habitat.
Please do the right thing by canceling your performance at SeaWorld.
Thank you for your consideration.