Pink asks Sea World to release marine mammals to sanctuaries


Singer Pink is one to put her money where her mouth is. Case in point, her latest appeal to Sea World. Sea World has been criticized for their treatment of captive sea life, specifically their orcas. This was famously exposed in the documentary Black Fish. After the death of several orcas and some of the orca trainers, Sea World finally agreed in 2016 to stop breeding orcas. It was a step in the right direction, if only a small one. However, several celebrities, like Jessica Biel, Pamela Anderson and Gillian Anderson, have asked, on behalf of PETA, for Sea World to do more. Most recently, Pink, on behalf of PETA, wrote an appeal to the Sea World Board of Directors to release all their sea life to sanctuaries so they may live out their days with a better quality of life.

Hello. My name is Pink, and I have a question to ask on behalf of PETA. As a mother, I would never take my kids anywhere that keeps intelligent, sensitive beings in intensive confinement. Children are impressionable, and the last thing I would want to teach my kids is that “might makes right” or that it’s OK to bully and exploit someone just because they look different from us. But that’s exactly what SeaWorld does by locking up animals who, in their ocean homes, would swim up to 140 miles a day, dive to great depths, cooperate with their pods to find food, communicate in their own dialects, and transmit their own culture from generation to generation. At SeaWorld, all these animals are able to do is swim in endless circles. Some are so frustrated that they break their teeth by gnawing on the concrete corners and metal bars of their tiny tanks.

But you have a chance to change all that – and do right by orcas and other animals – by sending them to sanctuaries, where they can live a more natural life and receive care for as long as they need it, as well as by making future locations, including your planned park in Hainan Island, China, virtual reality centers without any live animals. People could then feel good about taking their families to your parks. So my question is this: When will SeaWorld transfer its orcas and other marine mammals to seaside sanctuaries to save them – and itself?

[From Rolling Stone]

You can read CEO John Reilly’s response, as well as PETA’s president, Ingrid Newkirk’s rebuttal to him, here. In short, Reilly claims the best place for the animals is where they are because they have only ever known that environment and that, “No whales born into human care have ever survived being released into a sea cage or into the wild.” He then goes on to say that it was attempted prior and due to the unfortunate outcome, they concluded the risks were too great. Most of the discussion on this particular theory centers around the release of Keiko, the orca who starred in the movie Free Willy, who was eventually rehabilitated and released back into the wild. Keiko died sooner than expected upon his release, but many argue he may not have been the best test case given the poor conditions in which he had been held captive.

Pink has a public platform and she’s using it for something important to her. Many parents become increasingly aware of the messages they send their kids with the choices they make and how they spend their money so I’m fine with her framing her plea in this way. Sea World isn’t this only organization that uses sea life as entertainment, of course, but they are probably the best well known. So it’s not a bad tactic to ask them to lead by example.


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22 Responses to “Pink asks Sea World to release marine mammals to sanctuaries”

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  1. hey-ya says:

    …they aint gonna do it…those fish have turned the owners into billionaires…but well done Pink for speaking up…these aquariums for profit are beyond cruel…

  2. Rachel in August says:

    Good for her! I would agree. I love that she’s a huge animal rights activist, everywhere.

  3. Babs says:

    Those marine mammals shows and captivity overall are inhumane and the answer of that CEO is just disgusting. I really hope to see the end of it in my lifetime. Good thing celebs are being vocal about it.

  4. OriginalLala says:

    Sea World, zoos, circuses, rodeos – need to become illegal. End of story.

    ANIMALS ARE NOT HERE FOR OUR ENTERTAINMENT. and before people start with the “but they are saving the animals..and we want our kids to learn bla bla” – No. sorry, if you can’t figure out how to teach your kids about nature and empathy without engaging in animal exploitation and abuse, then you’re doing a shitty job. Bring them to an animal sanctuary or a rescue to learn about the true meaning of empathy, love of animals and to learn about nature.

  5. Kitty says:

    Totally agree with pink,, but I think she could’ve found a better animal organization to get involved with. PETA sucks

  6. A says:

    I stand by Pink. I’ll never pay to see captive animals.

    • Kosmos says:

      DITTO…..let the animals go and stop trying to make money off of them. People do not need to watch them do tricks. We will all live without this. Keeping animals in captivity is just wrong. Even large animals kept in cages are always so sad to see……

  7. ForeverEddie says:

    I agree, I would not go through PETA, too extreme. They turn off so many people (like me).

    But why isn’t she going after zoos too? Is there any difference from keeping elephants in a cage? There are many more zoos holding beautiful animals captive than aquariums.

    • TrixC says:

      The difference for me is that zoos try to support the animals to exhibit their natural behaviours, whereas places like Seaworld make them perform for our entertainment. Also, modern zoos only exhibit animals bred in captivity, whereas many of the dolphins you see performing were taken from the wild. But you’re right, there’s an ethical debate to be had about zoos too, particularly the keeping of intelligent, wide ranging species like elephants.

  8. Umyeah says:

    Love seeing people use a platform to help others, love this Pink

  9. the_blonde_one says:

    While I do agree with her in theory (I say in theory because I don’t know the logistics of it) I LOATHE PETA. they are garbage and I immediately think less of any celebrity that speaks on their behalf. They are garbage and they, if they got their filthy hands on the whales, would slaughter them.

  10. Meggles says:

    Such a BS response. They can’t be released, so keep them in tiny cages and torture them into performing tricks?

    The Clearwater Marine Aquarium (a non-profit rescue and rehabilitation centre) is only a two-hour drive from Sea World and also has marine animals that can’t be released, but they are treated very well and not exploited, and only exposed to the public in limited numbers and ways that won’t stress the animals. And they release any animal that is a candidate for release.

    If Sea World’s animals really can’t be released, there’s no reason they can’t just become an aquarium/zoo and channel their profits into creating a decent environment for those animals, and into conservation. I am not fond of zoos, but there are ways for zoos to act relatively ethically. People will still pay to see whales, regardless of whether they are doing tricks or not! Just become an aquarium, stop buying baby whales from poachers, and let the existing animals live out their lives in peace.

  11. Harryg says:

    Thank you Pink!!!!

  12. Meh says:

    While I support her message, that was a very, very poorly written letter.

  13. Kali says:

    Do you think so?
    I was impressed by the way she structured her argument.

  14. Moonpie says:

    The truth is that long-caged animals or animals who were born in captivity and lived there a long time … will have LOTS of trouble adapting to wild free life. They aren’t shy of humans so they don’t run not even from the screeching of ship’s propellers. They don’t know how to hunt or hide or how to life in a new environment. They have no “natural immunsation” from contact with other animals. They don’t know when and how to migrate to new areas for food as that instinct has been suppressed for years or decades.
    last but not least: a lot of animals who were freed after having lived as captured animals for years — they didn’t make it for long.

    Bottom line is: sometimes it is better to not free an animal but the only thing you can make sure is that they live under the most adequate circumstances.