Target: Joel Manby, CEO of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment
Goal: Relocate all animals currently living at SeaWorld San Antonio following multiple recent mammal deaths.
A dolphin at SeaWorld San Antonio died recently of unknown causes, becoming the fourth mammal to die at the park in the last year. A second dolphin is under constant veterinary observation. Previously, a beluga whale died after premature birth, and another died from gastrointestinal problems. A killer whale also died within the last year at the same location. SeaWorld maintains that there is no connection between the deaths, which resulted from various causes. Many have criticized SeaWorld for maintaining dismal, stressful living conditions that contribute to health issues and early deaths for its animals.
SeaWorld has responded to the recent deaths by announcing an additional, larger tank for their dolphins, a choice which has angered animal rights activists, who assert that tank living is a factor in early death for large aquatic mammals. Though SeaWorld denies culpability for these issues, animal rights activists have nonetheless called for the relocation of all animals currently residing at the San Antonio park. Options for relocation include seaside sanctuaries as well as full release of the animals into their natural habitats. In a seaside sanctuary, animals can swim freely in an environment similar to open sea, providing far more physical space and stimulation than traditional tanks, but with protections sometimes needed by animals transitioning out of full captivity.
SeaWorld has attempted to duck criticism by claiming that these four deaths have no connection to one another, and by reassuring critics that all their captive animals are under veterinary care. Four large mammal deaths in a year is a disturbing statistic regardless of the individual diagnoses, and SeaWorld must be held accountable for this alarming trend. Demand that SeaWorld San Antonio relocate its large mammals, either by use of seaside sanctuaries or with release into their natural habitats.
Dear Mr. Manby,
As you know, multiple large mammals have recently died at SeaWorld San Antonio. Though your company maintains that these deaths are unrelated, the statistic is nonetheless disturbing. Many have criticized SeaWorld for keeping animals in captive conditions that lead to stress, ill health, and premature death. Perhaps these dismal conditions are the connecting thread between these recent deaths, regardless of the individual diagnoses.
In the last year, four marine mammals have died in one SeaWorld location. Additional animals should not have to die before changes are made. We, the undersigned, demand that you relocate all mammals currently in captivity at SeaWorld San Antonio, either into seaside sanctuaries or with full release into their natural habitats.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Sbork