The protesters chose the height of the summer tourist season to beach themselves at the Orlando water park under a sign that read, “SeaWorld Kills.” They arrived around 1 p.m. and were escorted off the property by SeaWorld security.
“The safety of our guests and employees is and has always been our top priority at Aquatica, and the guiding principle of our security and operations departments is to provide a safe and enjoyable environment at the park,” said SeaWorld spokesperson Susan Storey, in a statement. “We do not tolerate disruptive or criminal behavior.”
Officers from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department responded and issued the protestors a trespass warning prohibiting them from being able to visit Aquatica in the future, she said.
On Tuesday, PETA staged a similar protest at Aquatica San Diego, where five people were arrested including Actor James Cromwell, according to David Perle, a PETA spokesman.
“Forty orcas have dropped dead on SeaWorld’s watch, including baby Kyara last week,” said Tracy Reiman, PETA executive vice president, in a statement. “This summer, PETA is calling on everyone to stay away from SeaWorld until the company agrees to retire its surviving orcas to sea sanctuaries.”
Kyara died July 24 at SeaWorld San Antonio after being treated for an infection. She was the last killer whale born in captivity at SeaWorld theme parks, which decided in 2016 to stop breeding the orcas after protests from animal rights activists.
Kyara was the third newborn to die at the parks this year. A Commerson’s dolphin calf died shortly after birth May 20 at Aquatica in Orlando. A newborn beluga died July 7 at SeaWorld Orlando. Both died the day they were born.