What if you were forced to live in a tank the size of a bathtub for your entire life? That's exactly what life at SeaWorld is like for Tilikum, the 6-ton orca (aka "killer whale") who recently pulled his trainer into his tank, causing her to drown. Before this awful incident, Tilikum had been involved in one, and possibly two, other human deaths.
Tilikum was just 2 years old when he was taken from the ocean in 1983. Ever since then, he's been kept in cramped tanks, where he gets very little exercise and is forced to learn circus-style tricks for human entertainment. Former trainers say that withholding food and isolating animals who refuse to perform are two common training methods. We think that Tilikum's aggressive behavior toward his trainers is proof of his unhappiness. Captive animals such as Tilikum not only take out their frustration on humans but also on themselves. A marine mammal behavioral biologist in Seattle says that "dolphins in captivity can exhibit self-inflicted trauma" and that some drift at the surface of the water and chew on concrete until they've destroyed their teeth. Others have reportedly taken their own lives by hitting their heads against the sides of pools or by not coming up for air.Life at a SeaWorld amusement parks is miserable for all animals held captive there. Please take a moment to write to the Blackstone Group—the company that owns SeaWorld—and request that officials immediately make plans to release Tilikum and other sea animals to sanctuaries that can provide them with a more natural environment.Please keep your letter polite, as anything less will hurt our efforts.
Please Release SeaWorld's Animals to Sanctuaries
The only thing that people learn from visiting a SeaWorld park is how miserable life is for animals held there. The intelligent, social ocean animals kept in the cramped tanks at SeaWorld are denied everything that is natural and important to them. Please make the humane decision to start moving the captive orcas and other marine mammals to coastal and wildlife sanctuaries and replace the animals with state-of-the-art virtual reality and animatronic exhibits that will wow visitors of all ages.
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