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PETA Billboard at San Diego Airport Asking Travelers to Avoid SeaWorld

The poster says "Welcome to San Diego! If you love animals like I do, please avoid SeaWorld."

Photo Credit: Lindsay Rajt/PETA
Photo Credit: Lindsay Rajt/PETA

A wall poster at San Diego's airport asking travelers to stay away from SeaWorld largely was ignored by travelers Thursday, according to a television report.

The message, which says "Welcome to San Diego! If you love animals like I do, please avoid SeaWorld. Kathy Najimy for PETA," went up in the Terminal 2 baggage claim this week.

Najimy, who grew up in San Diego, is an actress known for her roles in "Sister Act" and the HBO series "Veep."

The poster had been rejected by the airport's ad agency, but after a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals was settled, it was allowed to go on display for one month.

NBC7/39 reported that most travelers don't notice the poster. Those who did had mixed reactions.

"That makes no sense -- why would you avoid SeaWorld if you love animals," visitor Pat Smergy told the station.

Another out-of-town traveler, Christina Semple, had to think for a moment before she said the ad might keep her away from the theme park.

Lindsay Rajt of PETA said the poster would get people talking about the issue of SeaWorld's treatment of killer whales, which was "half the battle -- just getting people to consider that there's another viewpoint other than the glossy SeaWorld flier."

PETA has been demonstrating against SeaWorld for years, contending that its orcas are mistreated. The theme park denies the allegations.

"PETA is an extremist organization and this ad demonstrates that, once again, they are more interested in publicity stunts than helping animals," David Koontz of SeaWorld San Diego said. "The truth is that our animals at SeaWorld are healthy and happy. We are dedicated to their well-being."

He said the "real advocates for animals" are SeaWorld and its trainers, birdkeepers, veterinarians and other animal care staff members.

"Most people recognize that SeaWorld, not PETA, is the real animal welfare organization," Koontz said.

The airport authority had no comment.

—City News Service


all-c-ing-eye May 25, 2014 at 04:35 PM
I would not want to be as big as a whale confined to such a small area they need the entire ocean. Its tantamount to being locked in a box for the rest of your life. Sea World on the other hand does a lot of good things for sea creatures of all kinds so its kind of a mixed bag here as how one feels about it. Perhaps only certain species according to size and natural habitat should be on display for a period of time, then released upon new ones entering the facility. Just a thought.
Libi Uremovic May 26, 2014 at 09:41 AM
it occured to me that since sea world has been in existance for over 40 years they probably have enough injured and bred whales that they don't need to capture whales from the wild ....it turns out that the 1st whale wasn't captured from the wild - ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ''..Shamu was the name of the first female Orca brought to SeaWorld San Diego in the 1960s from the Seattle Aquarium where she was previously housed..'' ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ '... There have been 30 live births at the 3 parks (plus 1 at Loro Parque) …10 of which are deceased as well as 10 of their mothers and numerous unsuccessful births...'
Libi Uremovic May 26, 2014 at 09:46 AM
'...SeaWorld houses 23 killer whales in its three U.S. parks.... Ten orcas live at Seaworld San Diego, California:...' ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- that's a rediculous and unnecessary amount of whales to have in that little park....all of san diego county wouldn't be enough room for 23 whales to comforably live ..... it would take truckloads full of food to feed 23 whales...
Libi Uremovic May 26, 2014 at 09:50 AM
'...average life exptectancy for wild killer whales of about 30 years for males and 50 years for females. ... Of the 159 captive killer whales that have died, almost 2/3 didn’t make it beyond 10 years in captivity. Just 30 orcas survived more than 20 years in captivity. Average time in captivity has improved steadily over the decades, but is still very low....'
Paul OSullivan May 27, 2014 at 08:43 PM
While SeaWorld was saving a whale's life in the Pacific and a manatee's life in the Atlantic, PETA was putting up a propaganda poster to fundraise. If you love animals like I do, visit SeaWorld. https://www.facebook.com/WeLoveSeaWorld

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