UPDATE 6 February 2014 It has just been confirmed that the orcas will not be delivered to Sochi for the Winter Olympics. Their fate, however, is still uncertain.
UPDATE 31 JANUARY 2014 The signatures and the petition letter have now been printed and mailed to President Putin and the Russian Government. Thank you to everybody who signed.
Russia has recently started capturing wild orcas for display and export. As has become all too obvious in the last couple of decades, captivity is a terrible thing for orcas, even more so when they have been torn from the wild. A great deal of controversy has been aroused by America’s notorious SeaWorld, but it is not the only place exploiting killer whales.
The latest development is that host city for the 2014 Winter Olympics, Sochi in Russia, is getting involved. The city has a dolphinarium, and two wild-caught orcas are being flown in, seemingly in the hopes of making more money during the Winter Olympics.
The capture and display of orcas causes immense suffering to the whales, and poses a risk to human life – some animals become psychotic with the stress. It is not something that should be associated with an event as positive as the Olympics.
Tell Russia to release the orcas it has just caught and not become any further involved in this brutal practice.
We the undersigned ask that you not allow the display of wild-caught, or any other, orcas during the Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Orcas are not suited to captivity, becoming extremely stressed and even psychotic in tanks. Aside from the animal welfare issues, which are serious, the practice poses a risk to the lives of trainers, several of whom have already been killed by whales who could no longer cope.
Russia is in the perfect position to take the moral high ground on this issue by releasing the whales recently caught and not exploiting the animals during the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Please take steps to see that this happens.
Thank you for your attention.