Target: Jim Atchison, CEO of SeaWorld
Goal: Demand safe enclosures for aquatic mammals at SeaWorld facilities
A string of animal injuries at SeaWorld establishments around the U.S. has proven that the company is not taking enough care to ensure animal enclosures are safe for habitation. If intelligent aquatic mammals are going to be held captive, the responsible establishment at the very least must be certain to keep them safe. Demand that SeaWorld revise and improve the construction of their enclosures before more innocent animals are harmed.
In late 2010, a sea lion was found dead at SeaWorld San Antonio. The animal had drowned after being caught in a drain that hadn’t been fastened securely enough “to minimize the potential risk of animal entrapment resulting in the death of a Sea Lion,” according to the ruling of United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) investigators. Singer, the Sea Lion, turned out to be only the first victim in a series of enclosure-related animal rights violations at various SeaWorld locations.
After receiving an official warning from the USDA in early 2012, additional incidents involving large aquatic mammals were recorded that year. On a trip to the San Antonio park, a visitor discovered a dolphin to have an injury to its lower jaw. Much worse was the large chunk of flesh that was torn from Nakai, an orca at SeaWorld San Diego. Although it has not been proven, both of these injuries are highly suspected to have occurred because of incompatible confinement.
Already substantial, these are only the well documented cases of animal injuries. “Death at Sea World,” a book released in 2012, included interviews with former SeaWorld trainers by author David Kirby. Staff interviewed told him of killer whales destroying their teeth on metal gates and then subsequently having those teeth removed by staff wielding power drills.
It is abundantly clear that the SeaWorld franchise – if it is going to feature large and intelligent aquatic mammals at all – needs to completely rethink the way they are being kept. Demand that SeaWorld take immediate action to ensure the safety of these creatures and make the changes necessary to afford them a safe home.
Dear Jim Atchison,
The string of injuries and unfortunate incidents involving your large aquatic mammals has proven your enclosures to be dangerous and inadequate. Accidents have continued to emerge, even after the death of Singer the Sea Lion in late 2010 and the official USDA warning issued late 2012. It is clear that whatever measures are being taken to improve facilities are not enough to ensure that your enclosures are safe.
PETA has called for investigations into many of the other documented shortcomings concerning your holding tanks. Whether or not the USDA acts on those requests, it is your responsibility to provide all of your animals with safe enclosures and a respectable quality of life. I urge you to take immediate action ensuring the safety of these creatures and making the changes necessary to afford them a safe home.
[Your Name Here]
photo credit: marcovdz via Flickr