Protesters demand SeaWorld empty its tanks - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Protesters demand SeaWorld empty its tanks

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - On Friday, protesters took a shot at SeaWorld, calling for the park to empty its Orca tanks. 

"We are not here for us. We are here for all animals held in captivity," said demonstrators.

Passionate protesters who oppose SeaWorld drove home their message Friday night by standing atop an Interstate-5 overpass next to the SeaWorld exit sign.

Protesters used lighted letters to spell out their directive to the marine animal park, catching the attention of thousands of commuters.

"We believe these animals belong in the ocean with their families and that we have no right keeping them in captivity," said a protester.

Friday's action is preview of a much larger worldwide demonstration throughout 60 cities lobbying SeaWorld to "Empty the Tanks," and free their killer whales.

"We have no right keeping them locked up, forcing them to perform for pure profit," said a demonstrator.

SeaWorld San Diego responded to the protesters stating:

"The truth is that our killer whales, as well as all of our animals, live happy and healthy lives, and thrive in our care. According to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, SeaWorld is "meeting or exceeding the highest standard of animal care and welfare of any zoological organization in the world."

"In 2015, SeaWorld has rescued more than 900 ill and injured marine mammals, giving them a second chance at life. SeaWorld is the nation's true animal welfare organization, and the real advocates for animals are our trainers, aviculturists, animal-care staff and veterinarians," added the statement by SeaWorld.

"It's a blatant lie! There is no way you can a 12,000 pound Orca confined in a small tank and say that they are getting great care," said a demonstrator.

SeaWord contends it is "the nation's true animal welfare organization." A statement demonstrators are challenging.

Saturday's "Empty the Tanks" protest outside of SeaWorld will begin at 10 a.m. 

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