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PETA to stage protest over SeaWorld float in Rose Parade

People for the Ethical Treatment of AnimalsAmusement and Theme ParksArts and Culture

Animal-rights activists dressed as orcas will be protesting Wednesday at two Colorado Boulevard intersections in Pasadena over the design of the SeaWorld float for the 2014 Tournament of Roses Parade, according to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

Eight people in whale costumes will post themselves at Colorado’s intersections with Fair Oaks Avenue and De Lacey Avenue at noon, said  David Perle, a PETA spokesman.  

The design for the SeaWorld-sponsored float -- called Sea of Surprises, which is to be built by Fiesta Parade Floats -- features a snorkeler, whales, a sea turtle and brightly colored reef.

PETA has called for the SeaWorld float to be removed from the Rose Parade or to be redesigned to depict a whale in a small fishbowl surrounded by chains.

“We really see this as an opportunity for parade executives to take a stand against animal abuse,” Lindsay Rajt, PETA’s associate director of campaigns, told The Times.

A SeaWorld spokesman told the Pasadena Star-News that PETA’s actions are a “publicity stunt” and that PETA is an “extremist organization.”

PETA activists have picketed numerous Tournament of Roses events over the last several months and plan to protest during the parade in January, Rajt said. The organization believes the design of the float is a “very deceptive representation of life for captive orcas at SeaWorld,” Rajt said.

In 2011, PETA activists protested Glendale’s float, which featured a circus elephant towing a carriage, saying it glamorized unfair treatment of elephants used for entertainment. The design of the float was not changed.

 

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hailey.branson@latimes.com

Twitter: @haileybranson | Google+

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