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Tue 28 Apr 2015 12:50 PM

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Almost 10,000 sign petition against Dubai SeaWorld theme park

Thousands of people worldwide have called on the gov’t to axe plans for the aquatic park, claiming the treatment of the whales is ‘absolutely barbaric’

Almost 10,000 sign petition against Dubai SeaWorld theme park

Almost 10,000 people worldwide have signed an online petition calling on the Dubai government to axe plans for a SeaWorld aquatic theme park on animal rights concerns.

The US-based company SeaWorld Entertainment announced in May last year it had reached an agreement to "assess the viability of a multi-park development in the Middle East", without identifying who the deal was with or where the potential parks would be located.

The company has not commented on the potential deal since, but animals rights activists have protested against the idea in the hope of preventing it from coming to fruition.

The most recent petition, on thepetitionsite.com, claims the park, which promotes whale shows as its main feature, is “absolutely barbaric” in the way it treats the orcas in captivity.

It says in their natural habitat whales usually swim an average 100 miles (160km) per day, live in Arctic conditions and deep at sea. By contrast, the SeaWorld resorts, of which there are 11 in the US and one in Australia, are all in hot climates, causing the whales to become sunburnt and occasionally harm themselves attempting to escape the pools they are kept in.

“Dubai has a great reputation as a popular tourist destination for beautiful architecture, beautiful nature and kind hearted people, thus you should not tarnish your great reputation by allowing SeaWorld to open a SeaWorld park in Dubai,” the petition, which has been signed by people who say they are from countries across Europe, the UAE, Bahrain, Australia, US and others, stated.

“SeaWorld is already one of the worst cases of wild animal abuse in the history of the United States and Australia (the two countries that SeaWorld unfortunately exists in) and SeaWorld should not be allowed to exist in Dubai as well.”

In January, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) claimed a SeaWorld park in the Middle East would fail, citing the company’s worsening financial performance in the US.

The company’s profits dropped 28 percent during the last financial year, ending June 30, 2014.

“SeaWorld is thinking of coming to the Middle East, but buyer beware: in the United States, the company's profits have plummeted, its stock continues to sink like a stone, its corporate partners have fled, cutting their losses, its CEO is out the door, its laying off hundreds of employees, shareholders have filed lawsuits, and a recent poll named it one of the worst companies in the United States,” the group said in a statement to Arabian Business in January, referring to the replacement of Atchison by chairman David D'Alessandro in November, as the company announced more than 100 job losses.

“Now, to the astonishment of watchers on Wall Street and a public increasingly aware of cruelty to animals, the beleaguered company is pitching its failing business to Middle Eastern investors. That is why PETA is alerting stakeholders that the ‘abusement’ park is testing foreign waters.”

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Lisa Goswell 5 years ago

It is important to know that many of the animal rights activists that are so anti-SeaWorld have a very drastic agenda. If you really take time to read what PETA and other similar animal rights groups promote nobody would be eating meat again, ever.

Jeff P. 5 years ago

The park in Australia is not related to the US company. Furthermore, there are only three marine parks, as the rest are theme and water parks.

Jim Light 5 years ago

Not PETA. Never was. Never will be. Those who think the majority of us are PETA/zealous animal activitists are deluded. I'm just an average American - conservative, pro-business, Republican, ex-military, engineer/ small business exec. I have never weighed in on any animal rights issues before. But one visit to SeaWorld, seeing how many huge orcas SeaWorld crammed into a tiny barren concrete tank devoid of any semblance of natural habitat turned me against SeaWorld.

CK1 5 years ago

It just irritates me how little research these activists are willing to do. The plans to build a Dubai SeaWorld resort were canceled in 2008 or so. A quick Google search would have provided the creator of the petition and the people that signed it with that information. But if signing that petition makes them feel good, then that's all that matters, not facts. (sarcasm)

Gudrun 5 years ago

Instead Lolita swims tiny circles in shallow and barren cement tank that doesn't meet the minimum requirements of the Animal Welfare Act. Constantly exposed to the burning Miami sun and tropical storms, Lolita has been without any orca companion for three decades. Lolita is in the Miami Seaquarium - not SeaWorld, but I've posted this so you can understand what cruelty ensues and continues when they're captured and put into captivity. Bottom line - stop this cruelty and free them to their natural habitat.

Florida Citizen 5 years ago

it's amazing how little you people know. Seaworld does more good for our aquatic and marine life than bad. when whales or dolphins are beached anywhere in Florida, who do people call? Seaworld. When Manatees are beached or injured by swimmers and boat propellers, who do the communities call? SeaWorld! when beach towns in Florida feel the need to create an artificial reef, who do they call? SeaWorld. Blackfish was a well written movie with an agenda and one sided argument. People need to wake up that sea world does more good then harm. Also,just a note, the Germans and UK tourists that come to Florida are the one's whose media also accept Blackfish, as fact are the ones who mostly take sea world up on their Discovery Cove dolphin interactions. their hypocrisy knows no bounds. it's also funny to see that Richard Branson's Virgin Holidays sends over 100k people a year to Sea World and yet he has his own "Cetacean Pledge" to all companies. Typical Do as i say not as i do!~

Yvon Godefroid 5 years ago

Inform yourself. "Blackfish" is certainly not the only source of information about captive cetaceans sufferings. We are fighting against these out that for decades. Instead of doing more the same thing, SeaWorld should focus only on marine mammal rescuing and give up with orcas slavery. Whales and dolphins DO NOT thrive in a pool. They do not appreciate their children to be separated from them. They suffer when friends are dying around them. If SeaWorld could think a little bit further, it would create a large marine sanctuary for its former orcas inmates. That's not ethics, that's just business : the more SW keep going with dolphins and orcas shows, the more it will loose a lot of money ! Be sure Europe (12 countries without dolphinaria) and USA will renounce soon to dolphin captivity, as India already did. Let's hope Dubaï will understand this mind evolution...

Milca 5 years ago

It is a simple question of heart and ethics. Dolphins should not be treated less than humans. They are sentient beings with their own culture, feelings and very strong family bonds. How can anyone agree with their kidnapping and enslavering them in tiny pools? .. No need for large discussions. Anyone that has a heart and integrity CAN NOT agree with Seaworld cruel business. It is timeto move forward and leave barbaric abuse of animals to the past...

Jennifer 4 years ago

SeaWorld has shown itself to be 100% for profit, with only the slightest inkling as to real care of marine wildlife. More orcas and dolphins have died in their care than are currently living right now. They have created a species of orca that cannot survive in the wild, thanks to interbreeding groups of killer whales that have not intermingled for thousands of years. SeaWorld has been so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should. Captive breeding programs should be to increase wild populations, not increase performers in their "educational" shows.

Martha Brock 4 years ago

Nearly 140,000 have signed the petition for which you provided the link.

The world is waking up to the horrors of dolphin captivity. Don't expand on an outdated and unethical business practice, Dubai.