SeaWorld says Tilikum is “beginning to deteriorate,” which likely means that the long-suffering orca who actually has deteriorated for years is dying.
While it’s too late to release Tilikum, who was captured as a youngster more than three decades ago off Iceland, the Puget Sound’s own Lolita can still know freedom.
A “retirement” plan would reverse her 1970 capture in a Whidbey Island cove, a tragedy in which seven oracas were ensnared.
“The waters churned and boiled white with agitated whales fighting to escape from the confining nets,” Sandra Pollard wrote in the book “Puget Sound Whales for Sale,” as quoted in an extensive look at the subject by The Stranger.
“Their desperation and terror was all too apparent as they spy-hopped repeatedly, raising their strikingly colored black-and-white heads from the water”—to look around—”coupled with high-pitched shrieks and cries echoing across the usually tranquil cove,” she wrote.
A witness told The Stranger, “It was the weirdest sound I have ever heard in my life. Like babies crying but much louder.“
Lolita — also known as Tokitae — is the only orca captured that day who’s still alive.
An 8-minute video depicts her daily life at the Miami Seaquarium.
A member of L-pod, she belongs to the Southern Resident population, which includes “Granny,” an orca believed to be more than a century old.
It’s time to bring Lolita/Tokitae home, as outlined in a retirement plan with action items we can do to move that agenda forward.
In addition, please join us at the Empty the Tanks event at Westlake Park near Pike Place Market on Saturday, May 11, at 11 a.m.
Let’s keep up the pressure to free Lolita/Tokitae, so she can enjoy a life in open waters rather than lingering and dying as Tilikum is.
Photos from NOAA
The wonderful Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest, which was “founded in 2003 to provide sanctuary for chimpanzees discarded from the entertainment and biomedical testing industries,” is holding its annual fundraising shindig — which is a scrumptuous blast! — on Saturday, April 30, at 6 p.m.
Seven chimpanzees live at the sanctuary — all from a private biomedical facility in Pennsylvania. Before being used to test hepatitis vaccines and (the females) as breeders, they were captured in Africa and/or kept as pets and/or used in entertainment.
Now Annie, Burrito, Foxie, Jamie, Jody, Missy and Negra live in a safe, peaceful place, making choices about how to spend their time — inside where it’s warm or adventuring outdoors. You can meet them and learn what they’re doing on the sanctuary’s blog.
You can also support them and help the sanctuary expand to be a haven for more chimpanzees by attending Hoot!, an awesome evening of vegan food and camaraderie, with a live auction, dessert dash and raffle.
Tickets are $100 through April 1, or $750 for a table of eight. Sign up before they sell out, and we’ll see you there!
Eyes on Apes, a program of the Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest, pointed out this week that Geico’s latest commercials include a chimpanzee.
Please let the insurer know that chimpanzees — like the sanctuary’s now-retired Burrito — do not belong in entertainment.
The animated gecko we’ve all come to know as representing Geico is far more entertaining, and without the cruelty that comes with animals used in this industry.
A letter from the strangely named “American Humane Association” says it was on hand for filming and that the “monkey” and snake in the commercial were not harmed. Hmmm. Monkey?
Please email Geico’s executives (CEO Tony Nicely at email@example.com and Christine Tasher in public relations at firstname.lastname@example.org) to let them know you prefer the gecko — and if you’re insured by Geico, let them know you will switch companies if they don’t stop airing the chimpanzee footage.
We can make a difference! Thank you to Eyes on Apes and to all of you for taking action!
Here’s a sample email:
Dear Mr. Nicely and Ms. Tasher,
The Whatcom Humane Society has put out an urgent request for an outcry against Ferndale High School’s Donkey Basketball Fundraiser this Saturday, Feb. 13, at the Ferndale High School gym.
“NOT COOL!” as they put it.
Donkey Basketball is a “game” in which people play basketball while riding donkeys. The animals are pushed, kicked and punched in the process. They also slide on gym floors are hit by wayward basketballs and are terrified by the noise and mayhem.
“Donkey Basketball fundraisers encourage our communities to exploit animals for profit and teach our children that animal abuse is acceptable,” the Whatcom Humane Society said.
Please let the people below know that it’s not acceptable in our community and ask them to cancel it. Their are other ways to raise money for their important programs.
Dr. Linda Quinn
Ferndale School District Superintendent
Ferndale High School Principal
Ferndale School District Administrative Number
When Scientific American described elephants’ lives in zoos as torturous, Chai could have been the poster child. Ripped from her mother as a 1-year-old baby she was crated and shipped from Thailand to a cold, barren barn cell in Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo. At 19 years old and after countless failed artificial insemination attempts, she was sent across the country to Dickerson Park Zoo to be bred. Upon her arrival she was beaten for up to 2 ½ hours for which that zoo was fined by the USDA. She lost 1,000 pounds.
Chai came back to Seattle pregnant. Soon after Hansa was born Woodland Park Zoo began the artificial inseminations again. She was violated by this highly invasive procedure 112 times!
Chai endured the death of Hansa who died at only 6 years old from the herpes virus. This disease is almost always fatal to young Asian calves. Even though all the elephants at Woodland Park Zoo had been exposed to the herpes virus, the Zoo continued to artificially inseminate Chai—despite Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants’ relentless protests.
After Watoto died in 2014, the city of Seattle considered filing charges against Woodland Park Zoo. Watoto went down during the night due to lameness and arthritis directly caused by zoo confinement. Woodland Park Zoo did not seek the assistance of a crane to lift her and she laid on the ground suffering for 4 more hours until she was euthanized. Woodland Park Zoo decided to close the elephant exhibit.
Ignoring science, the vast majority of Seattle residents, powerful media voices, the City Council and the Mayor, the Zoo shipped Bamboo and Chai to the Oklahoma City Zoo—a worse zoo.
We are asking that the Seattle City Council, Mayor Murray and Woodland Park Zoo urge the Oklahoma City Zoo to retire Bamboo to an accredited elephant sanctuary.
PLEASE do two things in Chai’s memory:
1. Write an email to Seattle’s newly elected City Council, Mayor Murray and the Seattle City Council. Addresses to cut and paste are below. Just one line will do!
2. Sign this petition: http://www.peta.org/action/action-alerts/oklahoma-city-zoo-close-elephant-exhibit/
email@example.com, Ed.firstname.lastname@example.org, Kshama.Sawant@seattle.gov, email@example.com , Sally.Bagshaw@seattle.gov,
Tim.Burgess@seattle.gov, Bruce.Harrell@seattle.gov, Mike.OBrien@seattle.gov, Debora.Juarez@seattle.gov, Lorena.Gonzalez@seattle.gov, Rob.firstname.lastname@example.org
RIP Chai. Rest in your newly found peace.
Nancy Pennington and Alyne Fortgang
Co-founders, Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants
That might be the first time Chai was at peace since being taken from her mother at the age of one in Thailand. She was beaten at one location, then artificially inseminated 112 times in Seattle, where she also lost her 6-year-old daughter, Hansa, to herpes — a disease that’s ravaged young elephants in zoos for decades.
Chai also suffered from the pacing and swaying (here in Seattle) that’s indictive of the extreme trauma, stress and boredom that so many smart, social animals in captivity endure.
Zoo officials said the average life expectancy for an Asian elephant is 47. That’s in captivity. In the wild, Chai would be in the prime of her life, as Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants point out.
Malee, a 3-year-old elephant, died of herpes in Oklahoma City last fall.
When zoo CEO Deborah Jensen bucked Seattle residents’ and the mayor’s wishes to send Chai and Bamboo to a sanctuary, and instead sent them to suffer in another zoo, she went against the wisdom of one of her predecessors and Lyn Tangen, from the Woodland Park Zoo Elephant Task Force, who wrote: “No one can seriously doubt that elephants that have 15 or more acres to roam are better off than elephants crammed into a 1 or 2 acre exhibit in a zoo…. In the 21st century, Seattle has better ways to save wild elephants and their habitats than continuing to keep Chai and Bamboo at a zoo.”
Jensen, who was a huge success in the captive-elephant-loving Association of Zoos and Aquariums, is blessedly no longer in charge of the zoo.
Now Bamboo is alone in Oklahoma City, trying to integrate with a herd after an unsuccessful integration attempt years ago.
Wondering how you can help animals this weekend? Wonder no more. This weekend in jam-packed with amazing opportunities to help animals.
October 2nd (today)
Today is World Day for Farmed Animals. It’s a time to fast, learn, and educate others on the plight of the 10 billion animals this country eats every year.
This afternoon is the March on UW. At 2 pm, at The University of Washington’s Red Square, hundreds of animal rights activists will march against the university’s plans to build a new animal testing lab. Please join us!
This evening is the circus demo in Everett. Help us educate circus-goers that animals do not belong in the circus.
October 3rd (tomorrow)
The Global March for Elephants, Rhinos, and Lions is happening from 1-2:30 pm tomorrow in downtown Seattle. The march starts at Westlake Center and is part of a worldwide effort to save wild animals from poaching.
October 4th (Sunday)
Another circus demo is Everett begins at 11:30 am. Please join us and let Ringling Bros. know that we won’t stand for animal abuse.
To remind people that circus animals continue to suffer mightily, NARN is running ads on 14 King County Metro buses — and it’s costing $2,782.90.
Please help us fund this campaign with your donation.
We’d also love for you to join us at these peaceful, informative demonstrations outside Ringling Brothers Circus performances at Xfinity Arena in Everett this week: Oct. 1 (5:30 p.m.), Oct. 2 (5:30 p.m.), Oct. 3 (10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.), Oct. 4 (11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.).
Although Ringling Brothers recently said it will stop using elephants in traveling shows, it plans to work them for the next three years, which is unacceptable.
Sadly, circuses have a long history of abusing, neglecting and overworking their animal performers. Behind the glamour and spectacle, hidden from the crowds, the animals are kept in pitiful conditions and treated without any respect for their physical, social and mental needs.
Elephants are particularly abused. They begin training as calves, separated young from their mothers, beaten, prodded with sharp metal hooks (called “bullhooks”), and electrocuted with charged wands to make them submissive and to force them into uncomfortable and unnatural physical poses.
As gigantic and intelligent animals, elephants require tremendous space for mental and physical stimulation. Wild elephants walk up to 30 miles every day, but circus elephants live their entire lives chained to the floor, often in the dark and standing in their own excrement.
It is up to us to speak for these victims of abuse and to create a better world for all earthlings. Thank you for your support!
The rodeo and the circus are coming to Puget Sound over the next few weeks — two great opportunities to educate people about the cruelty involved in using animals for public entertainment.
This rodeo is this weekend at the state fair in Puyallup. Rodeos commonly use something called a “hotshot” — an electrical jolt — to get animals riled up while they’re in the chute. While in the ring, the animals often wear “bucking straps” that burn their abdomens and groins and make them buck. That’s what you can’t see; then there’s calf roping and other obvious torments.
You can help educate people who aren’t aware of the pain, injury and deaths caused by rodeos by attending a demo this weekend:
When: Saturday, Sept. 12, noon to 2 p.m.
Where: Meet at corner of 9th Ave SW & 4th St SW, Puyallup WA
Its cruelties are well-documented, and earlier this year Ringling Brothers said it will stop using elephants in shows — although the animals will be retired to Ringling’s breeding facility. Ringling also uses big cats and other animals in its shows (it does not bring the big cats to Puget Sound).
You can help educate people about the torment that animals suffer in the circus at these demos just before each circus show in September and October:
ShoWare Center in Kent
When: Sept. 24 (5:30 p.m.), Sept. 25 (5:30 p.m.), Sept. 26 (10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.), Sept. 27 (11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.)
Xfinity Arena in Everett
When: Oct. 1 (5:30 p.m.), Oct. 2 (5:30 p.m.), Oct. 3 (10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.), Oct. 4 (11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.)
Sign up for these events on NARN’s Facebook page — or just meet us there!
News from Eyes on Apes:
Comedy Central has a new TV show and they’re airing previews of the show, Big Time in Hollywood, FL, containing footage of a chimpanzee.
Eyes on Apes knows the chimp in the footage. His name is Eli and he lives at a training facility called Steve Martin’s Working Wildlife.
Eli’s trainer has a history of dumping former nonhuman ape actors at very decrepit facilities, including Walter, who was found kept in a dark, barren, concrete pit filled with garbage at a roadside zoo. Eli’s trainers also have repeatedly failed to meet minimal animal welfare standards. (www.eyesonapes.org/eli)
There’s still time to act–the episodes with Eli’s scenes have not aired yet. Please send a polite letter to the producers and to Lenny Jacobson letting them know that chimpanzees should not be used in entertainment.
Siri Garber, Platform PR (Lenny Jacobson’s publicist)
Lee Kernis, Producer (manager to writers Alex Anfanger & Dan Schimpf)
Not only are there numerous welfare concerns with using chimps in entertainment, but seeing chimpanzees dressed up in clothing and in physical contact with humans perpetuates the idea that they can be treated as pets.
Thank you for all you do. Remember, Your letters work!
Another alert sent out last month regarding a McDonald’s France commercial with Suzy (who lives with the same trainer as Eli) was pulled after they received feedback from Eyes on Apes supporters and other advocacy groups.