We, the undersigned, standing together in unity and on behalf of the remaining orca poplulation in captivity at SeaWorld, wish to add our voices to the intense and highly publicized criticism of SeaWorld and its decision to keep Tilikum, The Killer Whale, enslaved at its facilities in Orlando, Florida after whale trainer Dawn Brancheau was killed in an attack on February 24, 2010.
While we recognize the extreme loyalty and value the trainers have brought to the training of whales and other mammals, the fact remains it is slavery and that is wrong.
At the tender age of two, Tilikum was stolen from his home in Iceland and sold to Sealand of the Pacific in British Columbia. When they closed in 1992, Tilikum was sent to SeaWorld in Orlando where he has literally been swimming around in circles for the last 25 years. As the largest orca in captivity, he has sired 13 offspring -- all born into captivity -- including three who died.
At over 12,000 pounds Tilikum has been reduced to living a life of begging for food, being climbed on, stepped upon, and constantly forced to entertain park goers during SeaWorlds' "Believe" show of which he was the star.
The Orca or "killer whale" is one of the largest mammals on earth and are typically found in the freezing, rigid waters of the Arctic and Antarctic regions and tropical seas. They are used to swimming in oceans not tanks.
Just five short months ago, The Blackstone Group
purchased the SeaWorld group of parks for $2.7 billion!
We respectfully request the private equity firm to consider ending all future "Shamu" shows, help save this whale from mental, physical, and emotional abuse, and send him to the sanctuary which will provide the humane existence he justly deserves.
In 1994, the International Whaling Commission designated two whale sanctuaries: The Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary and the Indian Ocean Whale Sanctuary. With over 50 million square kilometres (31 068 559.6 miles) The Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary surrounds the continent of Antarctica. The Indian Ocean Whale Sanctuary extends south with a western boundary by Africa and an eastern boundary by Australia. To the south it borders the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. Either sanctuary would be a perfect fit for Tilikum.
We humbly and graciously thank The Blackstone Group
for taking the time to read this letter. We are committed to change! Will you do your part to make that happen? You can also join our movement on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/?sk=messages&tid=1236225870276#!/group.php?gid=10150105910725635