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X-Files' Gillian Anderson asks SeaWorld to release orca whales

By Marcus Hondro     Jun 21, 2016 in Environment
Gillian Anderson, who rose to fame in the 90s TV series 'The X-Files,' has again spoken out in defence of the orca whales, also known as killer whales, that remain in captivity at SeaWorld. She wants them released to a coastal sanctuary.
23 orcas at SeaWorld
Speaking at SeaWorld's annual online meeting and on behalf of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Anderson said the 23 killer whales remaining in captivity at SeaWorld have suffered greatly and are "languishing" in small spaces.
In March, SeaWorld ended its breeding in captivity program, a move PETA campaigned for, but the company has not announced plans for its remaining orca. PETA wants SeaWorld to build a coastal sanctuary for them.
As a part of the online meeting, Anderson released a statement on the plight of the captive cetaceans.
"Esteemed scientists and orca researchers (endorse) seaside sanctuaries in ocean coves, where orcas who have suffered for years at SeaWorld would be able to enjoy some semblance of a natural life and finally feel the ocean currents," Anderson's statement on behalf of PETA said in part.
"In SeaWorld tanks, orcas break their teeth gnawing on bars and concrete, and they go insane from the reverberations of their sophisticated sonar off the tank walls," her statement continues. "They’re separated from their families and forced to live in incompatible groups.
"Captivity is slowly killing them - and quickly killing Sea World’s profits," she added. "SeaWorld stock continues to plunge, earnings remain down, and visitors aren’t coming back."
Sanctuary for dolphins
She referenced, and lauded, a decision from the National Aquarium to send its 8 remaining dolphins to a coastal sanctuary. The actor and activist also wrote that the "tide of public opinion" has turned "against orca captivity."
Her statement asked SeaWorld to "reinvent the park with attractions glorifying the ocean, rather than traumatizing its most intelligent inhabitants...."
SeaWorld is a primarily a group of 3 marine mammal parks, one in Orlando, Florida, one in San Diego, California and one in San Antonio, Texas. PETA has held stock in SeaWorld since the company went public in 2013, enabling them to have a voice at membership meetings.
Anderson has represented PETA in the past; in November she appeared in a video supporting vegetarianism in which she sat down to a meal of a portion of one of her own legs.
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