Activists pressure SeaWorld to retire 50-year-old whale

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SAN DIEGO — A group of activists submitted a petition to Mayor Kevin Faulconer Tuesday, asking city officials to pressure SeaWorld to retire Corky, a killer whale at the theme park for about 25 years.

Martha Sullivan later told the City Council the petition contained nearly 1,600 names gathered over about two weeks.

“It is time to retire her, just as other performing animals are retired to a sanctuary to live out the rest of their lives in some semblence of their natural (habitat), and without having to perform, without having to be subjected to loud noise and constant stress of living in a complete unnatural environment,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan spoke during an open comment session in which council members are not allowed to respond. The Mayor’s Office had no immediate comment.

SeaWorld has come under intense criticism since the release of “Blackfish,” a 2013 documentary that raised allegations that orcas were mistreated at SeaWorld.

SeaWorld executives have vehemently denied the accusations.

SeaWorld said “Corky is loved by her trainers who have passionately cared for her for more than 45 years. She is happy, health and continues to thrive in our care.”

“The claims by a handful of extremists are not only unfounded, but completely out of touch with reality. Corky, who is 50 years old, has been one of the world’s most important ambassadors for killer whales and has brought inspiration and joy to hundreds of millions of park guests,” the statement said.

Thursday will be the 45th anniversary of Corky’s capture, according to Sullivan.

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8 comments

    • John May

      Far, far, more than 16,000 people in US are outraged at SeaWorld’s animal abuse. Are you aware their stock value has fallen over 51%, or have you just not been paying attention?

      • wagstowiskers

        Martha so you think it is ok for animals to be held in captivity and taught to perform lame tricks for human entertainment. if you think this is acceptable, I would like you to be locked in a cage and perform tricks for us through food starvation who cares if people want to visit animals in captivity . The fact that society has this view is another example of how we lost our moral fiber

    • Alyson Walsh (@AlysonHypnotik1)

      1600 is a drop in the bucket compared to the actual amount of everyday people who have opened their eyes and are against the exploitation of cetaceans by Seaworld. Stocks are hitting an all time low on a daily basis. It’s time for Seaworld to work with the activists to give these animals a better future, instead of clinging to an outdated business model.

  • John May

    II noticed Steve-O was prosecuted after taking credit for the SeaWorld Sucks freeway sign. Funny how that was published in same article after I changed Website tags to Prison and Correctional Facility. Nobody took credit for the Internet stunt, so guess what? Here I am. lol

  • Petra Franssen

    No !!!!!! She is not happy in that PRISON !!! The world knows you just say that by your greed to make money from her , you are all shameless humans with no compassion whatsoever !!! You do know that these animals are kidnapped , robbed from her freedom years ago , robbed from her family and her big ocean where she can swim free for Miles and Miles each day , now she has to live a long depressed life in a much to small tank and you know it !!! I do not have the slightest bit respect for greedy people as you are !!!!!

  • Lisa

    SeaWorld you are a complete disgrace making profits off the animal captivity and drive hunt trade. Society wake up and understand the extreme act of animal cruelty that is done here.

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