Protestors rallied at Sea World on Sunday afternoon from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to demonstrate against the alleged mistreatment of orcas.
The demonstration occurred in the peak of an intense heat warning by the National Weather Service. One protestor traveled 3,000 miles to participate in the protest, according to Ellen Ericksen, the event’s organizer.
Temperatures soared above 90 degrees with intense humidity, said Ericksen on Facebook.
Participants dressed in black and white, possibly to mimic the colors of killer whales. At least one of the attendees encouraged others to support People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) on Facebook by voting against Seaworld’s Blue World Project.
The project includes an application to the California Coastal Commission to build new tanks for orcas, according to PETA.
— PETA (@peta) July 17, 2015
This expansion is proposed to improve living conditions for orcas and other sea life occupying tanks at Sea World. In response to harsh criticism following the 2013 “Blackfish” documentary, Sea World plans to double the size of its orca tanks, spend $10 million on research for the species and create an independent advisory committee of scientists to supervise its orca program, according to the LA Times.
PETA argued against the validity of this initiative, with the concern that the size of the tank would remain insufficient for its inhabitants. Even in the expanded tanks the orcas would need to swim 1,500 lengths back and forth per day to reach the 100 miles a day that they are naturally accustomed to swimming in the ocean.
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