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PETA Calls For SeaWorld Investigation Over Injured Orca

Protestors from PETA outside SeaWorld on Oct. 3, 2012.
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Above: Protestors from PETA outside SeaWorld on Oct. 3, 2012.

Aired 10/3/12 on KPBS News.

About three dozen protestors from PETA staged a silent protest near SeaWorld today.

About three dozen protestors from PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) staged a silent protest near SeaWorld today. The demonstrators held signs with pictures of the park's injured killer whale named Nakai. They demanded that the aquatic park in Mission Bay be investigated.

Pictures from several sources show Nakai with a deep and wide gash that penetrates blubber and muscle and spans much of the orca’s lower jaw.

SeaWorld officials said the 11-year-old orca sustained the massive injury after he knocked into a barrier in the pool on Sept. 20.

But Matt Bruce of PETA disagrees. He said a whistleblower inside SeaWorld reports the orca was wounded when attacked by one or two other killer whales in the park.

Nakai, an injured killer whale at SeaWorld.
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Above: Nakai, an injured killer whale at SeaWorld.

“PETA filed a complaint with the USDA calling for an investigation of Nakai’s injury and we’re looking for them to take the appropriate disciplinary action," Bruce said. "Hopefully the USDA will confiscate the orcas and release them to accredited coastal sanctuaries.”

SeaWorld says Nakai is mending and doing well, but a spokesman declined to be interviewed. Instead, he sent a written response that says "SeaWorld’s zoological facilities and methods of care exceed standards set by the Animal Welfare Act. Seaworld care exceed standards set by the Animal Welfare Act."

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