Dear Editor:


Tilikum, the orca who died at SeaWorld on Friday, was torn from his ocean home when he was only about 2 years old. Little could he know that he would never see his family again and would spend the next three decades in tiny tanks and enclosures. He found himself in a world in which he barely had room to move, much less dive deeply and swim at fast speeds for long distances, as he would have done in the ocean.

The stress of his deprivation drove him to kill three people. With no meaningful way to pass the interminable hours, Tilikum chewed on metal gates and the sides of his tank—nearly destroying most of his teeth. He often floated listlessly for hours at a time—an entirely atypical state for these naturally active animals. His dorsal fin was collapsed—a condition that’s infinitesimally rare in free-roaming orcas.

Yet SeaWorld, unmoved by his obvious anguish, continued to use him as a sperm bank to churn out more orcas, who will also spend every day of their lives in a swimming pool. Tilikum fathered 21 calves—11 of his calves died before he did.

With Tilikum’s passing, nearly 40 orcas have died on SeaWorld’s watch. He must be the last. SeaWorld needs to release the remaining orcas who are still languishing in its tanks to coastal sanctuaries where they can experience a semblance of the life that they’ve been denied.


Yours truly,

Jennifer O'Connor

PETA Foundation

501 Front St.

Norfolk, VA 23510

(757) 962-8259


(1) comment


It troubles me to see how the people are reacting to Trump's illegal immigration plan. Former President Bill Clinton propose a similar plan in his 1995 state of the union address and he received a standing ovation from congress. here you can watch it on youtube

There were no protest, no calls of him being racist by the media nor by any singers or actors, as a matter of fact, Hollywood and the media were pretty quiet. They actually agreed, approved of his actions.

Look at the reaction now. Is it because Trump is a Republican? The hypocrisy of Hillary Clinton talking against it. I guess she doesn't remember her husband's speech.

In regards to the TEMPORARILY ban on refugees, it is temporarily for 90 days. Shouldn't a President protect his country first? Do we want to make the mistake France made? Check out the rise in terrorist attacks since 2012 in that country.

Obama continues to call for division instead of calm. He did a great job dividing our country, turning people against police and each other.

Let us also remember that all countries around the world have their own immigration laws, Mexico, for example, their immigration laws are stricter than ours, you can end up in prison for 2 years if caught without papers and if you are caught a second time 10 years. (no welfare, food stamps, nor medical benefits) Why is it that only when the United States wants to secure its border and enforce its laws people go beserk. they don't protest to Mexico to open its border to all Guatemalans and Central Americans that want to cross its borders.

The reality is that all countries have the right to secure their borders and enforce their immigration laws including the United States.

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