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Activists protest outside SeaWorld again demanding the release of orca whale Corky

SAN DIEGO — A small group of animal rights activists protested outside SeaWorld San Diego Monday afternoon, urging the park to release its whales and dolphins.

Protesters held up signs along the sidewalks along Sea World Drive and Sea World Way to urge the park to release the largest captive animals to oceanfront sanctuaries and to discourage other San Diego residents from buying an admission ticket for to buy the theme park.

“Even though today is Labor Day and most people are off, none of the animals at SeaWorld have a holiday,” one of the protesters, Ellen Ericksen, told FOX 5. “The eight orcas that are held in captivity here are getting never vacation.” a day off.”

According to protest organizers, more than 40 orca whales and over 500 other dolphins have died at SeaWorld’s facilities — many of whom reportedly missed their natural lifespans due to complications from captivity.

They say one of the current whales in the park, Corky, exemplifies the quality of life for these animals at SeaWorld’s facilities.

Corky is the oldest whale in the theme park and has been in captivity for around 54 years. After being captured off the coast of British Columbia in 1969, she initially lived in a tank at a now-defunct Southern California facility for about 17 years before being transferred to SeaWorld.

According to activists, Corky gave birth to seven babies during her lifetime, but none lived longer than 47 days. Because of this, she reportedly spent a lot of time near another juvenile orca, with whom she shared a tank at the park.

The young orca’s mother later attacked Corky — likely out of jealousy, activists say — breaking her jaw and severing arteries in her head. The orca’s mother later died.

They have been activists for 25 years urges Corky to relocate to a proposed 40-acre sanctuary near her birthplace in British Columbia, where her original family known as “A5 pod” still resides. SeaWorld opposed the plan, saying the move was risky to their health.

FOX 5 has reached out to SeaWorld for comment on today’s demonstration but has not received a response as of 5 p.m. Monday.

This comes about two weeks after the death of another whale, Lolita, who lived in captivity at the Miami Seaquarium for over half a century. Much like Corky, animal rights activists fought for years to get Lolita released from her tank, but were ultimately unsuccessful.

Lolita’s death has led to a revival of calls for the release of other long-held orca whales at amusement parks and other aquariums like Corky.

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