Target: Jim Atchison, President and CEO of SeaWorld
Goal: End captivity programs that endanger marine mammals
Two videos showing a dolphin and a whale in distress at different SeaWorld locations have surfaced within just a few days of each other. One of the videos published by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) shows a bleeding dolphin squirming on the concrete floor next to its swimming pool as a SeaWorld-Texas employee stands listlessly around. The other video, published by a park attendee, shows a pilot whale struggling to return into the tank after becoming stranded on the concrete ledge of the pool. In this video another pilot whale tries to push the stranded whale back into the water to no avail. SeaWorld responded to this video by stating that the whale was unharmed and pushed back into the water 25 minutes later by a group of trainers.
These videos do not mark the first time that the SeaWorld franchise has been under the media spotlight for all the wrong reasons. In fact, a documentary entitled “Blackfish” was released this year taking viewers through the nightmarish life that an orca lives while being held captive in the Orlando SeaWorld location.
What is made clear by these videos is that franchises like SeaWorld do not have the mammals’ best interests at heart, and are simply doing what they have to do to make a profit. These beautiful and remarkably intelligent mammals were never meant to be in captivity, much less for our own species’ amusement. Offering zero benefits to the lives of these magnificent creatures these captive programs are useless. Not to mention that the habitats recreated in these parks far from resemble their original habitats and it is incredibly cruel that franchises such as these continue to perpetuate such programs. Demand that SeaWorld put an end to holding marine mammals in captivity.
Dear Jim Atchison,
The videos that have been recently released show the incredible amount of stress your organization places on these amazing marine organisms by holding them captive. It is clear that your organization does not treat these animals with dignity and keeping them in captivity for other people’s entertainment to turn a profit is a heinous crime.
I urge you to discontinue these programs within your organization. These creatures deserve to live there lives out in the vast expanse of the calm ocean and not in some fish bowl repeating the same old tricks for you and your franchise to fill your pockets with money.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons