Inspired by 13-year-old Rose McCoy—the New Yorker who jumped the barrier at last year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade to protest its SeaWorld float and who was arrested while protesting the SeaWorld float in California’s Rose Parade (which won’t feature the SeaWorld float again this year)—PETA supporters, including young Rose, scaled the barriers at today’s parade and displayed posters proclaiming, “SeaWorld Hurts Orcas.” The protesters were dragged away by police from the parade route.
“SeaWorld can try to change its ugly image by putting floats in parades, but everyone knows that orcas are suffering in its tiny concrete tanks,” says Rose. “I hope people who saw me or hear about my story will join us in refusing to go to SeaWorld as long as orcas and other marine mammals are imprisoned there.”
After the release of the documentary Blackfish—which reveals how orcas at SeaWorld are deprived of everything that’s natural and important to them, leading them to become frustrated and to exhibit deadly aggression—attendance at SeaWorld parks dropped, sponsors cut ties with the park, and the company was named one of the most hated in the U.S. in a Consumerist poll. At least 25 orcas have died in U.S. SeaWorld facilities since 1986—and not one died of old age. PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—is calling on SeaWorld to fund the creation of coastal sanctuaries where the orcas can live in as natural a setting as possible.