SAN DIEGO (CN) - Suing as "next friends" to five orcas, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals claims SeaWorld is holding the killer whales "in slavery and involuntary servitude," and wants the parks in California and Florida ordered to release the orcas "from bondage."
"In this a case of first impression, five wild-captured orcas named Tilikum, Katina, Corky, Kasatka, and Ulises (collectively, the 'plaintiffs'), seek a declaration that they are held by the defendants in violation of Section One of the Thirteenth to the Constitution of the United States, which prohibits slavery and involuntary servitude. Plaintiffs were forcibly taken from their families and natural habitats, are held captive at SeaWorld San Diego or SeaWorld Orlando, denied everything that is natural to them, subjected to artificial insemination or sperm collection to breed performers for defendants' shows, and forced to perform, all for defendants' profit. As such, plaintiffs are held in slavery and involuntary servitude," according to the federal complaint.
"Plaintiffs also seek an injunction freeing them from defendants' bondage and placing them in a habitat suited to their individual needs and best interests."
PETA and five of its members, as next friends of the orcas, are represented by staff attorney Matthew Strugar, of Los Angeles.