Wild Animals Don’t Belong in the Olympics

Russia is in the process of capturing wild whales and dolphins to be showcased at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Russia is in the process of capturing wild whales and dolphins to be showcased at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

The Olympics is a time to celebrate the human athlete. Why then is Russia insisting on capturing animals in the wild to perform in the Sochi Dolphinarium as part of the 2014 Winter Olympics? Two killer whales were recently taken from the wild and will be showcased in the tank along with a wild caught and endangered Black Sea captive dolphin who is scheduled to carry the Olympic torch during opening ceremonies.

Taking animals from the wild and showcasing them in such a visible venue supports the destruction of these animals, their families, and their environment. Is that the message the International Olympic Committee wants to send to the world?

In addition, the Olympic Movement’s Agenda 21, Sport for Sustainable Development, focuses on respect for the environment. As the films Blackfish and The Cove clearly show, there is no respect for the environment or its inhabitants when whales and dolphins are chased until caught, with many of them dying in the process, while others are purposefully killed so the young can be taken for display in concrete bathtubs or confined to sea pens.

Write to the head of the International Olympic Committee urging the committee to reject the use of whales and dolphins in the ceremonies marking the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Additionally, write the ambassador from Russia to the United States, letting him know that you want his country to cease taking orcas and dolphins from the wild.

Thomas Bach, President
International Olympic Committee
Château de Vidy
Case postale 356
1001 Lausanne
Switzerland

The Honorable Sergey I. Kislyak
Ambassador
Embassy of the Russian Federation
2650 Wisconsin Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20007

Dolphins Belong in the Wild Not in Aquariums

Captive dolphins often die prematurely due to illnesses and stress that they would not experience in their native habitat.

Captive dolphins often die prematurely due to illnesses and stress that they would most likely not experience in their native habitat.

The Coral World Ocean Park on St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, is requesting a permit to construct pens to house a dolphinarium. Dolphins can live several decades in the wild but often suffer and die prematurely when maintained in captivity. They travel for hundreds of miles in their native waters; while confined in captivity, they swim in circles all day long. There is little environmental stimulation for them in an aquarium, but there is acoustical stimulation that is harmful to them as sounds rebound off the walls of the aquarium. They would experience no such acoustical assault in their native habitat.

Public awareness of the plight of dolphins confined in dolpinariums has caused some dolphin exhibits to close. In addition, as the public worldwide becomes aware of how dolphins are captured (as seen in the documentary The Cove, filmed in the waters around Japan), the public becomes less and less willing to support dolphinariums.

For these reasons, please write to the permitting section before November 30 urging the director to reject the permit application submitted by Coral World Ocean Park to create a new sea pen for dolphins. Protect these amazing animals by allowing them the freedom to live normal, natural lives. The physical and psychological needs of these intelligent and social animals cannot be provided for in the confines of an aquarium.

District Engineer
Antilles Permits Section
400 Fernandez Juncos Avenue
San Juan, PR 00901

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Parade Should Celebrate Life

This year, SeaWorld will be participating in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. While the Macy's parade is supposed to symbolize magic and joy, SeaWorld instead symbolizes the opposite.

This year, SeaWorld will be participating in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The floats in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade should celebrate magic, joy, fun, surprise. But Macy’s is adding a float from SeaWorld this year, a float that reminds us of tragedy, sadness, and death.

Forcing animals, such as dolphins and whales, for example, to live in concrete pools their entire, and most often abbreviated, lives is inhumane.

These animals are often captured in an extremely violent and cruel manner. Many are either killed or injured during the capture process and others die before reaching their destination. Those animals who do survive are subjected to a lifetime of confinement, unable to express normal behaviors or interact socially, and are subject to diseases and illnesses brought on by their unnatural surroundings.

Ultimately, many of these wild animals are, in reality, subservient and apathetic creatures. It is in depriving these sentient animals of their homes and natural lives and in forcing them to participate in unnatural behaviors that we in the humane world object to.

If you want to see the magic of Macy’s continue, then send a note to the CEO letting him know SeaWorld has no place in the joy that is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Terry J. Lundgren, CEO
Macy’s
7 W 7th St #10
Cincinnati, OH 45202

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Marine Mammals Face Grave Danger

morgue_ussmassnavy

USS Massachusetts
The U.S. Navy conducts underwater military training exercises that have been known to harm marine mammals.

The U.S. Navy conducts underwater military training exercises that have been known to harm marine mamals, including whales, seals, and dolphins. The number of such exercises is set to increase to a massive scale along the Hawaiian, California, and Atlantic coasts over the next five years.

By allowing the increase in sonar blasts used during training sessions, marine mammals in these areas will be subjected to incredible pain and suffering. The loud underwater explosions have been known to cause whales to beach themselves. These blasts also have caused bleeding around the animals’ ears and brains.

The National Marine Fisheries Service should protect marine mammals rather than force them to withstand increased numbers of injuries. As long as military training exercises need to take place, they should be conducted in waters where little damage can be done to sea mammals and their habitat.

Send a note to the National Marine Fisheries Service requesting a change in location for these training exercises to protect marine mammals.

Samuel D. Rauch III
Assistant Administrator for Fisheries
National Marine Fisheries Service
NOAA Fisheries Service
1315 East West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Tele. No.: 301-427-8000

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Secretary of the Interior Needs to Hear from You

Cetaceans such as this humpback whale are endangered by intense sound waves.

Two issues are before the Department of the Interior that require our attention. The first issue has to do with the use of high-intensity airguns in the exploration of offshore oil and gas along the Atlantic Coast from Florida to the New Jersey border. The constant dynamite-like blasts will occur around the clock for weeks and possibly months. All sea creatures within this area will be subjected to the noise. Dolphins and whales, in particular, will suffer as they rely on sound for feeding, communication, and navigation.

A second issue facing the Department of the Interior is whether to uphold the 1976 Point Reyes Wilderness Act. When the act was passed, an existing commercial oyster operation within Drakes Estero was given a 40-year lease to operate within the park. The lease expires this year at which time Drakes Estero would revert to a wilderness area. The secretary of the Interior needs to uphold this agreement. The Drakes Estero is the West Coast’s only marine wilderness area and is the home to harbor seals, white pelicans, leopard sharks, and bat rays.

The Honorable Ken Salazar
Secretary
Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington DC 20240

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Acoustical Assault

Paws Down!

To Connyland theme park, Switzerland, and Miami Seaquarium, Florida, for holding raves in proximity to the sea creatures.

In a line we all use at times, “What were they thinking,” two organizations decided to hold raves in proximity to aquariums that house captive dolphins, orcas, and other marine mammals.

Isn’t it enough that we capture and contain these magnificent creatures in oversized bath tubs, do we now have to have pyrotechnics, ear shattering music, and hundreds, if not thousands, of partygoers in close proximity to their unnatural homes?

According to one news report, noise levels at the Connyland theme park reached the level of pneumatic drills set on top volume. In addition, it was reported that attendees tossed all manner of debris into the animals’ pools, including drugs.

It was reported that two dolphins at the Connyland theme park died most likely as a result of the 2-day rave. While no deaths have been reported of animals at Miami’s Seaquarium, one has to doubt the dolphins, orcas, and other sea creatures were in a partying mood while the event was going on.

What were the owners of these parks thinking?

Take Action: Write the owners of Seaquarium and Connyland urging them to discontinue holding events that place the animals in unsafe conditions that may lead to their deaths. Of course, the strongest action any of us can take is to stay away from these theme parks where captive wild animals are made to live in oversized bath tubs all year around.

Roby Gasser, Management
Connyland
Post Strasse 38
8557 Lipperswil
Switzerland
Tele. No.: +41 52 762 72 72
Fax: +41 52 762 72 73
E-mail: info@connyland.ch

Arthur Herman Hertz, CEO
Andrew Hertz, General Manager
Wometco Enterprises Inc.
Owner, Miami Seaquarium
3195 Ponce DeLeon Blvd.
Coral Gables, FL 33134
Tele. No.: 305-529-1400
Fax: 305-529-1466

Sources:
Simorgh.DE
The Daily Mail

Wild Orcas Belong in the Wild

Photo by mrmritter/Flickr

Let the Blackstone Group, which owns SeaWorld, know you want to see the company create a solid, workable plan to release captive performing orcas at SeaWorld parks to sanctuaries that can provide them with appropriate and more natural environments than those found at SeaWorld.

For marine life, the ocean is their habitat—and the ocean is huge. Capturing them and putting them into an oversized swimming pool for our entertainment is putting their physical and psychological lives at risk. For instance, when confined to a tank, these sea mammals develop stereotypies. With little space and no stimulation, they can be seen swimming in static patterns around their fish bowl for hours at a time. They also develop skin problems from living in heavily chlorinated water and suffer from ulcers and pneumonia as well as self-inflicted injuries.

Orcas are highly social and form complex societies headed by females. The average lifespan for a female orca is 50 years and a male 30 in the wild. In captivity, they rarely live beyond 20 years. In addition, in the wild, they can travel up to 100 miles daily.

Hamilton E. James, President & CEO
The Blackstone Group
345 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10154
Tele. No.: 212-583-5000
Fax: 212-583-5749

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