People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
Bigger tanks aren't enough for SeaWorld whales

To the editor: As SeaWorld's plummeting stock value and attendance attest, the public is keenly aware that confining intelligent mammals in concrete tanks is unacceptably cruel. Captivity is so stressful for orcas that they attack each other, self-mutilate by gnawing on gates and the sides of tanks, and are given psychotropic drugs just to stop them from lashing out. ("Amid 'Blackfish' backlash, SeaWorld to expand orca environments," Aug. 15) In the wild, orcas easily dive to depths of 1,000 feet, but SeaWorld's planned tank will be only 50 feet deep and 350 feet long. Orcas would have to swim more than 1,500 laps per day to approximate the 100 miles that they...