Sydney – "I can't imagine how terribly orcas and dolphins, who can swim for miles and miles a day in the ocean, suffer when they are trapped in tiny tanks," says actor Miguel Bernardeau in a new video for PETA Latino, filmed shortly before the coronavirus crisis began. The Netflix hit thriller Elite star's campaign urges the millions of people now stuck in quarantine to consider how, for decades, marine parks have isolated animals who've been taken away from their ocean homes.
PETA is calling on all marine parks to use the COVID-19 lockdown to plan the transfer of captive dolphins to seaside sanctuaries and to make rides, not live animals, the centre of their business model.
"Dozens of orcas and hundreds of dolphins have died languishing in tiny tanks," Bernardeau explains. "No one gave us the right to abuse animals this way. Animals are NOT ours to use for entertainment."
In nature, dolphins can swim up to 100 kilometres per day, dive to depths well over 300 metres below the ocean's surface, and maintain dynamic relationships within large social networks. They navigate by echolocation, but in captivity, in parks such as Sea World, the reverberations from their own sonar bounce off the walls of their tanks, which can drive them insane.
"People my age, we don't want to see animals in captivity," Bernardeau concludes. "We want to keep orcas and dolphins in the ocean, where they belong."
Bernardeau joins a growing list of celebrities – including Noah Cyrus, Pamela Anderson, Krysten Ritter, Sharon Osbourne, and the late Sir Roger Moore – who have teamed up with PETA or its international affiliates to speak out against marine-mammal captivity.
PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that "animals are not ours to use for entertainment" – opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.au.