The CEO of the American toy-making company Munchkins has written an open letter to SeaWorld offering $1,000,000 to start funding a sanctuary for orcas held in captivity. He expressed that it would be onthe condition that SeaWorldrelease Tilikum, the orca known fromthe famous documentary, Blackfish.
According to the letter that TMZ published online, Dunn's plan would be to create a giant sea pen in natural coastal waters, where the whales would have a lot more freedom but could still be seen by visitors.The toy company also recently decided to remove a longstanding bath product from their shelves - a toy orca. They even made a video to reinforce their sentiments, with a powerful closing line:
Because a bathtub isn't big enough for an orca.
The CEO of the toy company expressed his intent to build theoceanic sanctuary with the help of marine biologists and conservation groups. He wrote in his letter to the CEO of SeaWorld:
Munchkin will be kick-starting the building of an ocean sanctuary with $1 million regardless if SeaWorld releases Tilikum and would welcome the release of any captive whale from any marine amusement park.
Tilikum is the famous SeaWorld orca who killed a trainer in 2010 after pulling her underwater. The documentary Blackfish revealed the shockingconditions in which orcas like Tilikum areforced to live, which no doubt have an effect on their temperament. Tilikum has been in captivity for over thirty years, and he is now used primarily for breeding purposes.
Unlike Tilikum, orcasin the wild can swim over 100 miles a day and swim as deep as600 feet. An aerial image below shows how confined the whales are in their tanks.
SeaWorld have responded to Dunn's offer in a cold and resolute manner, unwilling to recognise the harm they bring these great sea mammals. The CEO responded:
Killer whales at SeaWorld are healthy and thriving, and through conservation and rescue efforts as well as significant work to advance the scientific understanding of orcas and other marine mammals, SeaWorld is a leader in protecting and preserving these species.
Unfortunately, SeaWorld have consistently been opposed to the idea of sea pens for orcas. They maintain that their whales would not fare well out in the ocean as they are so used to living in tanks. But marine biologist Naomi Rose said that argument is “off-the-charts irrational".If you want to support the petition against holding orcas captive, you can sign this PETA petition here.
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