Dear Mr du Mont,
With great astonishment and regret have we noticed that you support PETA’s press release with a video message in which you request that the tour operator TUI stops selling tickets to dolphinariums and marine parks worldwide. In addition, you mention in your message the, for us very painful, death of our female orca Skyla and the question arises: What do you know about marine mammals, especially orcas, to spread such a message? We think you should know what PETA stands for and who you are working with. Therefore, we would like to clarify some facts for you.
We find it absolutely heartless and shameful that PETA uses such a sad and emotionally difficult moment as the loss of our orca Skyla to spread unfounded accusations in an attempt to gain media attention to continuously spread untruths and misinformation.
And we wonder what science-based arguments PETA can present which prove the suffering of cetaceans living in tanks? Furthermore, what kind of good deeds does PETA do for nature and animals with all the money they receive? Because just in the United States they raised more than 60 million dollars last year and in Germany another 8 million euros in donations. It is interesting to research more on this topic and we recommend you do so.
Take the time to inform yourself on PETA’s “modus operandi” and familiarise yourself with the relevant publications. You will definitely find a lot of incriminating evidence if you make the effort to inform yourself comprehensively.
Here you will find some suggestions:
PETA demands, as you announce in your video message, that the breeding of the animals should be stopped and the animals are transferred to sanctuaries. According to our knowledge, there are no such sanctuaries for orcas and dolphins. The Baltimore Aquarium has been trying to transfer its dolphins to sanctuaries for over 10 years, as has Barcelona. The Barcelona dolphins were finally transported to the Ática Zoological Park in Greece, where they live the same life as before in Barcelona.
Various radical animal rights organisations publish their ideas and proposals to set up such sanctuaries in different member states. They pretend that this would be the better way to keep cetaceans that cannot be returned to the wild. However, we doubt that they will get permits for this, as dolphins originating from the waters of the Antillean or Gulf of Mexico do biologically not belong in these waters. Unfortunately, these organisations do not provide any scientifically sound arguments to support the benefits of keeping cetaceans in sanctuaries, especially since you then change concrete walls for wire nets; thus, no benefit for the animals. There is also no information on how such sanctuaries are to be financed, not to mention how the cleaning of the sanctuaries is to be done, how the animals are to be fed, how medical care is to be provided to the animals if necessary, etc.
PETA is an organisation that has absolutely nothing to do with animal welfare and protection, as it is driven by a radical anti-zoo agenda and its aim is solely to tarnish the reputation of reputable and fully certified zoos and zoological gardens. This includes us, Loro Parque-Animal Embassy, and we have the expertise, experience and knowledge to care for the animals in our care in an animal-friendly way and to protect their populations and habitats in nature.
If you were taking the time to do research to objectively inform your audience, you would be familiar with the book “Why PETA Kills“, a report by ex-PETA employees, (we enclose a copy), or the following very revealing video about how PETA really works: https://m.facebook.com/stevehofstetterTV/posts/873987553400977 (note that subtitles are available if needed).
You should also be familiar with the recently published article in Die Zeit: https://www.zeit.de/2021/06/peta-tierrechte-aktivismus-fleischindustrie-wiesenhof-verhandlungen.You can also find more on this topic at zoos.media: http://zoos.media/media-echo/euthanasia-at-petas-shelter-still-occurring-at-alarming-rate/?lang=en
Believe us, we could go on with countless examples, but what we really want to make clear: PETA, like many other anti-zoo and animal rights organisations, uses every means at its disposal to try to pressure, even bully industry stakeholders and authorities in order to get them to turn against certified and modern zoological facilities. They use biased and manipulative propaganda to attack especially travel agencies and tour operators like TUI and this occasionally leads to drastic consequences.
It is sad but true, our world is facing the most severe environmental crisis ever and its effects are causing the 6th great wave of extinction on our planet, caused by humans for the first time in Earth’s history. Nearly 7,850,000,000 humans are exploiting the world’s natural resources, extinguishing species, altering the climate, polluting the oceans and driving out the animals from their natural habitats. Thus, according to the latest United Nations report, one million species may already be at risk of extinction, while the dangerous decline of nature is “unprecedented” and species mortality rates are increasingly “accelerating”.
In this dramatic situation, the educational, scientific and conservation role of modern zoos are vital to counteract the dramatic effects of this environmental crisis and develop a new animal welfare spirit. The opportunity to experience close encounters with animals is a powerful tool that creates sympathy, love and respect for wild animals and their ecosystems.
Paradoxically, zoos and dolphinariums are facing the most severe attacks in their history at the very time when nature needs them most. Radical anti-zoo organisations like PETA, which are very effective in the media because of their sensationalist methods, are constantly trying to destroy the concept, even the existence, of modern zoos. In doing so, they not only damage the institution of modern zoos, but also nature and animal conservation.
For this reason, we would like to present the Handbook of the most common arguments against keeping marine mammals under human care as well as our brochure The Modern Zoo (both documents are available digitally: https://bit.ly/3rDvs8Eand https://bit.ly/3jyFPHO). They contain all the information and facts about the misleading statements of the activists and are based on the latest scientific insights.
Only recently, more than 160 of the world’s most renowned marine mammal experts spoke out clearly in favour of the great importance of modern dolphinariums for science and research as well as for nature conservation and education; see https://blog.loroparque.com/scientist-statement-supporting-research-in-marine-mammal-facilities/?lang=en
The truth is that in the current situation we cannot afford to destroy zoos; on the contrary, if they did not exist, they would have to be invented with the utmost urgency.
We urge you to familiarise yourself with our documents and, when the opportunity arises, to draw up a programme focusing on dolphins and orcas involving real experts on the subject: the zoological directors, the international associations, the conservation officers and biodiversity research scientists.
Our team is always at your disposal to answer all your questions. In particular, our German-based Biodiversity Conservation Officer, Mr Wolfgang Rades, who represents us in the European Union and acts as liaison with our partners in Europe, will be happy to clarify any doubts or questions you may have.
In addition, we would like to invite you to visit us in person as soon as the pandemic will allow it again, to get a picture of our in situ work and to see our animals for yourself.
We thank you for your attention and would be very pleased if you would inform yourself extensively in the future about the organisations to which you “lend your face”.