Singer Pink. Photo: RCA Records

Singer Pink posed an angry question to SeaWorld regarding its treatment of marine animals, and the theme park offered a response.

The pop star and animal-rights activist emailed SeaWorld with her query, and Rolling Stone reported the fallout Wednesday on its website.

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,” Rolling Stone reported.

“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,” the Pink email continued. “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?”

SeaWorld offered a response, which Rolling Stone also reported:

“The animals at our parks – and the tens of thousands we’ve rescued – receive world-class care from some of the foremost veterinary and animal-care experts. That standard of care is illustrated through our accreditations from the world’s leading zoological organizations, including American Humane, Association of Zoos & Aquariums, and others.

“Our dedicated team of marine biologists, veterinarians and animal-care experts has looked in to the issue of sea cages and has determined, along with many third-party marine life experts, that these enclosures can pose very real health risks to killer whales. In fact, the only whale ever relocated to a sea cage, at the behest of activists, ultimately died. SeaWorld’s deep commitment to animal care is why we can’t, with good conscience, move our killer whales to sea cages and put them at risk. We stand behind our commitment that it’s best for our whales to continue receiving daily expert veterinary care at our parks.

“Our actions speak louder than words. Daily we are on the front lines of conservation – our rescue and rehabilitation efforts are unparalleled with over 31,000 animals getting a second chance at life. SeaWorld inspires families and children through meaningful experiences at our parks to both respect and enjoy our world, especially our oceans and its inhabitants. We pledge to continue our work to protect animals and, as always, invite our visitors to join us in that fight.”

Because Pink emailed the company on behalf of PETA, the nonprofit also weighed in, as reported in the Rolling Stone article:

“Although SeaWorld has the means to do what’s best for animals … it keeps [them] imprisoned in tiny, barren concrete tanks, where they swim in endless circles in their own diluted urine. The abusement park also spends more money on its public relations campaigns – to try to lure back the droves of visitors who have abandoned its tawdry shows – than the measly three percent of its profits that it devotes to conservation efforts. At least 40 orcas have died at SeaWorld, of everything from pneumonia to infection.

“PETA wants SeaWorld to construct seaside sanctuaries that would allow the orcas to thrive in an enriched and natural environment and be able to feel, smell, and swim in the ocean while still receiving care and veterinary support. The orca Keiko was released into an ocean bay, where he swam free for the last five years of his life – during which time 17 orcas died prematurely in captivity.

“The company is desperately working to create a false narrative by referring to seaside sanctuaries as ‘sea cages.’ These sanctuaries – which have been endorsed by marine-protection organizations – are certainly not ‘cages,’ a term far more appropriate for describing the concrete cells in which SeaWorld currently confines orcas. …”  

–Staff

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