Target: SeaWorld Entertainment CEO Joel Manby
Goal: End all orca captivity at SeaWorld after an 18-year-old died from a preventable fungal infection at the park.
Another young orca has died in captivity at a SeaWorld location, this time an 18-year-old who came down with a fungal infection that is considered rare in the species. This was the third whale death at the San Antonio location in the past six months alone.
The orca, named Unna, lived twice as long as the average lifespan for captive killer whales, while the average lifespan for free members of the species is between 30 and 50 years. SeaWorld has come under a lot of fire for the alarmingly short lives of its orcas, as well as for refusing to acknowledge this problem and the others that occur with these whales when forced to live in a small pool alone rather than swimming free in families.
According to SeaWorld, Unna had been sick with a resistant fungal strain called Candida for months before succumbing. A former SeaWorld trainer, however, alleges that she’d been testing positive for fungal spores since at least 2008. The company also appears to have lied about the frequency of Candida infections in orcas, saying that it’s common in wild orcas as well. This has been disputed by leading orca researcher Naomi Rose, who says that this fungus is rare in free killer whales.
Once again, a SeaWorld orca has died prematurely under shady circumstances and among seeming dishonesty from the company. SeaWorld needs to finally admit that it only keeps these animals for the sake of profit, and that confining them to pools for their entire lives when their normally swim many miles each day is profoundly harmful to them. Sign this petition to demand that the company ends all captivity of killer whales in all of its parks.
Dear Mr. Manby,
Another orca has died at one of your parks. Unna, an 18-year-old, died long before the average lifespan of a free killer whale, which is 30 to 50 years. At the same time, she was unusually lucky, because she lived twice as long as the nine-year lifespan standard for captive orcas.
Apparently, Unna died of a resistant fungal infection that your company claims is just as common in wild orcas as it is in their captive cousins. However, according to a leading orca expert by the name of Naomi Rose, this is not actually true. Candida is rare in wild killed whales. It seems that once again, SeaWorld is being dishonest about the health of orcas to try and trick people into thinking that captivity isn’t really bad for them.
Many people already see through your lies, and that number grows everyday. If you will not release captive orcas and stop confining them to small pools for the sake of common decency, then do so with the knowledge that you will soon no longer be able to make a profit from your parks. Immediately end all captivity of orca whales at each of your existing locations or face widespread drops in attendance and revenue.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Gordon2448