SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8/CNS) - People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is using the recent resignation of SeaWorld's CEO to once again call on the company to release its orcas.
PETA members held a rally and protest Sunday outside the Mission Bay theme park calling on SeaWorld to release the killer whales into sea sanctuaries.
SeaWorld CEO Joel Manby resigned last week amid continuing business struggles for the company since the 2013 release of the film "Blackfish'' which led to scrutiny of SeaWorld's animal welfare practices and a major decline in attendance.
PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman asked how many CEOs will have to go before orcas are let go and called on the company to release the animals into sea sanctuaries.
SeaWorld released the following statement in response to PETA:
The truth is that our animals, including our orcas, live healthy and thriving lives 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.”
While less than 10 people protested near the park today, nearly 20,000 people visited SeaWorld San Diego over the weekend, each being inspired and educated by our animals.
SeaWorld is the nation’s true animal welfare organization, and the real advocates for animals are our trainers, aviculturists, animal-care staff and veterinarians.
We will continue to focus our energy and resources on real issues and helping animals. So far this year our rescue team has come to the aid of more than 30 marine mammals and birds, giving them a second chance at life. We have rescued more than 17,000 ill, injured and stranded animals over the last 50 years.
David Koontz | Director