From Tank to Tombstone: PETA Sets Up Chilling Orca ‘Cemetery’ Outside Thomas Cook AGM

For Immediate Release:

8 February 2018


Jennifer White +44 (0) 20 7837 6327, ext 222; [email protected]


Campaign Calls on Travel Group to Drop Marine Abusement Park From Its Itineraries

London – Today, a sombre “graveyard” of 41 “headstones” – each marked to memorialise an orca who died on SeaWorld’s watch – haunted Thomas Cook’s annual general meeting. An activist stood behind each “gravestone” holding a single red rose while the meeting attendees arrived. The action is part of PETA’s efforts to pressure the travel provider to stop selling tickets to SeaWorld. A representative of PETA US, which recently became a shareholder in the travel provider, attended the meeting and spoke with other shareholders and executives about the campaign.

Photos are also available here, here, and here.

“Profiting from orca abuse is indefensible,” says PETA Director Elisa Allen. “PETA is calling on Thomas Cook to reject SeaWorld’s orca prisons, where intelligent marine mammals have no choice but to swim in endless circles around tiny concrete tanks.”

While orcas in the wild form complex relationships, work cooperatively to find food, and traverse up to 140 miles of ocean every day, those at SeaWorld are housed in incompatible groups inside tiny tanks and have even been given the drug diazepam to manage stress-induced aggressive behaviour. Forty-one orcas have died on SeaWorld’s watch, and six marine mammals died at its parks last year alone.

Since August 2017, PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment” – has led protests outside more than 100 Thomas Cook locations across the UK and prompted more than 20,000 people, including Sharon Osbourne and Paul O’Grady, to write to the company to urge it to join other travel providers, including STA Travel and Responsible Travel, that do not sell tours to SeaWorld.

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