PETA: Let Whales, Dolphins "Out of Prison"

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Jeffrey Sasse
A controversial animal rights group is ramping up protests against SeaWorld following the recent death of a whale trainer, saying that the whale lashed out due to its inhumane confinement.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals protesters rallied outside of a SeaWorld location in San Antonio, Tex., Saturday and hired a small plane to fly a banner overhead that read "SeaWorld: Let Whales and Dolphins Out of Prison."

The group is planning to repeat the protests Tuesday at the SeaWorld in Orlando, Fla., where orca trainer Dawn Brancheau was killed last month. A 12,000-pound killer whale called Tilikum attacked her after a show.

Listen to the 911 calls

"PETA points out that the trainer who was killed by an orca on February 24 would be alive today if SeaWorld had heeded PETA's advice to transfer all its dolphins - including orcas - to transitional coastal sanctuaries and stop confining oceangoing mammals to small enclosures that to them are like bathtubs," the group said in a press release.

"The trainer was not the first person to be attacked and killed by a killer whale at SeaWorld, and PETA believes that she won't be the last. PETA is concerned that animals at SeaWorld remain frustrated and enraged by their cruel confinement and their inability to hunt, swim, and live in the oceans with natural family pods."

More coverage of the SeaWorld tragedy

Worker: "Whale Would Not Let Us Have Her"
SeaWorld Trainer Mourned in Chicago
Whale Attack Renews Captive Animal Debate
Tears Flow as Whale Shows Resume
SeaWorld Called Best Place for Tilikum
Whale, Trainer Play on Film Before Attack
SeaWorld Defends Serial Killer Whale
SeaWorld: The Show Must Go On
Ex-SeaWorld Official: Trainer Made Mistake
Dawn Brancheau's Last Moments Alive
SeaWorld Trainer Embraced Risks of Job