Target: Scott Kelyman, Senior Director of Stadium Operations
Goal: Urge the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team to discontinue their stingray touch tank promotion
In this current baseball season alone, two balls have been hit into the stingray touch tank at Tropicana Field, putting the rays inside at risk of serious injury or death. Urge the Tampa Bay Rays to discontinue this promotion and possibly replace it with one that encourages respect for animals rather than a disregard for their well-being.
On its surface, the stingray touch tank at Tropicana Field seems like a great idea–educational, interactive, and easily tied into the Rays franchise. However, the tank is truly harmful to the rays it houses. Baseballs have been hit into the tank three times–twice this season alone–and the rays “are subjected to intense reverberations from crowds, poked and prodded by up to 50 unfamiliar people at a time, and left unprotected from potential abuse,” People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) points out. Touch tanks do not provide rays with the “very specific conditions” that they require to live safe, healthy lives, and the death toll of rays in touch tanks is astounding: PETA reports that 41 of the Calgary Zoo’s 43 touch-tank rays have died, and at the Chaffee Zoo in Fresno, California, 18 of 19 rays have perished.
There are much more humane ways for the Rays to celebrate their namesake and provide an interactive, educational experience for fans. Sign the petition and urge the Rays to make this season the last season of touch tanks at Tropicana Field.
Dear Mr. Kelyman,
While it is laudable that the Tampa Bay Rays are striving to add educational and interactive components to the Rays franchise, the stingray touch tank simply must go. I urge you to make this season the last one for touch tanks at Tropicana Field.
Touch tanks are deadly for stingrays. Aside from the fact that three baseballs have landed in the touch tank–two in this season alone–the poor conditions and constant stream of visitors wanting to touch the rays seriously jeopardize the animals’ health and safety. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) points out that the rays “are subjected to intense reverberations from crowds, poked and prodded by up to 50 unfamiliar people at a time, and left unprotected from potential abuse.” Furthermore, similar tanks at the Calgary Zoo and Fresno, California’s Chaffee Zoo have proven costly in terms of ray fatalities; 41 of the Calgary Zoo’s 43 touch-tank rays have died, and at the Chaffee Zoo the death toll is 18 of 19.
There are many more sensitive and humane ways to promote the Tampa Bay Rays franchise and celebrate the team’s namesake. I urge you to retool your promotion to honor, not mistreat, the team’s mascots.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Barry Peters via Wikimedia Commons