29 April 2010
To: The Editor
From: Kavita Arulkar (0) 80075 93682; [email protected]
This morning, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India sent an urgent letter to BS Bonal, Member Secretary of the Central Zoo Authority, calling on him to stop permitting any further confinement of marine mammals to tanks in India. PETA’s request follows reports that several areas in India are considering adding or expanding marine-mammal facilities at a time when the US Congress is holding hearings on banning the confinement of orcas in marine-mammal parks and other nations are closing down oceanariums. The government of Kerala plans to allow the construction of the largest oceanarium in Asia. In Maharashtra, there are plans to expand the shamefully neglected Taraporewala Aquarium by adding orcas and animals native to Antarctica. And Delhi is considering building a dolphinarium. In the letter, PETA points out that world-renowned oceanographer Jean-Michel Cousteau likened keeping orcas in tanks to “a person being blindfolded in a jail cell.”
“These faulty plans go against world sentiment, our knowledge of ocean life and the idea that humans should let orcas, dolphins, penguins and fish live in peace with their families in the world’s oceans – where they belong”, says PETA India’s Dharmesh Solanki. “Depriving these intelligent animals of everything that is natural and important to them turns them into nothing more than shells of themselves and guarantees them a life of loneliness and misery.”
PETA also highlights the recent orca attack in which a US SeaWorld trainer was killed. The orca, Tilikum, was kept in captivity for decades, forced to swim in endless circles and perform meaningless tricks for food. While India is embarking on plans to imprison dolphins, orcas, penguins and other marine life, countries around the world are taking progressive steps to stop the cruel practice – Chile has banned the public display of most marine-mammal species, and Brazil released its last captive dolphin back into the wild and no longer has captive-dolphin facilities.
For more information, please visit PETAIndia.com.
PETA’s letter to BS Bonal of the Central Zoo Authority is available on request.