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PETA was first in line to buy stock in SeaWorld when it went public last year so that we would have the right to propose shareholder resolutions that help the animals. But SeaWorld, unlike other corporations, decided it was too risky to hold its first meeting in an actual building, so the meeting was conducted online today. We were still “there” for the Q&A session, and so was Hollywood actor Jessica Biel, who submitted a question on behalf of PETA. Biel was moved after watching the documentary Blackfish, so she partnered with PETA and used her voice to speak up for orcas. But SeaWorld was so worried about the possible content of the question that the CEO wouldn’t read it verbatim, as is customary at such meetings the world over.

“With the release of the documentary Blackfish and PETA’s educational campaign, the public now knows about the devastating effects of keeping orcas captive and closely confined at SeaWorld. Frustrated orcas like Tilikum have worn their teeth down to the nubs by chewing on their enclosures, their dorsal fins collapse, and they die prematurely, reject their young, and harm and kill humans. SeaWorld then tries to mask the orcas’psychosis with psychotropic drugs. As the public hears about this, ticket sales decline. When will SeaWorld develop a plan to move the orcas to a sea pen in a natural setting in line with public opinion?” said Biel.

An orca is swimming in a glass enclosure at SeaWorld.© Free Morgan Foundation

Jim Atchison, president and chief executive officer of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, responded with the exact same discredited and nonsensical assurances that SeaWorld continues to make to justify keeping orcas confined in unnatural and stressful conditions. We’ll be looking at what recourse we can take. Meanwhile, pity SeaWorld’s other shareholders, who got a censored version of what should be the number one topic: releasing the orcas to a sea pen.

Had it with SeaWorld abusing animals and lying about it? Tell the park that you’re one of the millions of people who are ready to see its captive marine mammals go free. And spread the word by tweeting a link to Blackfish.

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