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Forget a new smartphone or virtual reality headset—compassionate teenagers around the country want something lasting and meaningful for the holidays: freedom for Corky. They’ve written SeaWorld CEO Joel Manby asking that, for once, he play Santa instead of the Grinch.

A valentine's day letter with a heart on it.

A handwritten letter with a picture of a whale.

A letter with a christmas tree and ornaments on it.

Joel monney's christmas letter.

A letter written by a man to a woman.

A letter to mr monty with a gift.

“All Corky has ever known is captivity and loss,” one teen wrote. “Please release her into a seaside sanctuary so she can live the rest of her days in peace and comfort.”

“Wouldn’t you want to be with your family?” another concerned teen asked Manby.

Corky was with her family when their pod was attacked by humans in boats on December 11, 1969, off the coast of British Columbia. Other family members, including her mother, were left in the ocean, but she was kidnapped and sold into captivity.

She was 4 years old—and 47 years later, she’s the longest-held captive orca in the world.

Since the day her freedom was stolen, her life has been one of misery. She was impregnated repeatedly and lost all seven of her babies—her longest-surviving calf lived 47 days. The body of her last, whom she miscarried, was found at the bottom of the small tank in which she’s held.

But her story could have a happy ending. A team of orca experts has identified a protected bay in her home waters that could become a sanctuary. There, she could not only feel the ocean currents but also communicate with her brother and sister, who often return to that area.

The teens know what that would mean to Corky, and they’re making sure that her jailer does, too.

“Please do what is right, and choose compassion,” one teen wrote Manby. “Give Corky the most important gift. Her freedom.”

Wild orca leaping © iStock.com/hanhanpeggy

What You Can Do

Write a polite letter to the SeaWorld CEO asking that Corky be released into a seaside sanctuary so that she can reconnect with her siblings and taste the freedom that she’s long been denied. Then send it to the following address:

Joel Manby
P.O. Box 690129
Orlando, FL 32869

Also, tell SeaWorld to transfer all the orcas it’s holding captive to sanctuaries. Don’t patronize this abusement park until it does so—and avoid all other facilities that exploit animals.

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