Sydney – Before hitting the Dancing With the Stars (DWTS) stage for the beloved show’s 30th season in the US, Australian dancer and DWTS judge Sharna Burgess hit the water –dance costume and all – for a brand-new PETA campaign that takes a dive into the reasons why people should stay away from Sea World.
In an exclusive behind-the-scenes video, Burgess points out that dolphins at Sea World are completely denied their freedom – something everyone can relate to after the last year. “We’ve just come out of a near year-long lockdown because of COVID,” she says. “And think about how you or your loved ones may have been losing their mind a little bit, losing themselves, being locked in the house. And now think about that for these animals.”
In nature, highly intelligent and social dolphins swim long distances, form complex relationships, and choose their own mates. But those held captive at Sea World are confined to cramped, chemically treated tanks and deprived of opportunities to range freely, dive deeply, and experience life on their terms. Some suffer from stress-related ailments and even die prematurely.
“You know, they’re not meant to be on show for us,” Burgess concludes. “Remember that you can make a difference just by talking about it and not supporting these parks.”
Earlier this year, New South Wales implemented a ban on captive-dolphin breeding and the importation of dolphins into the state. The ban follows Tripadvisor’s 2019 announcement that it would no longer sell tickets to captive-dolphin displays. Sea World on the Gold Coast now has the shameful distinction of being the only marine park in the country to continue breeding dolphins in captivity.
Burgess is part of a growing list of celebrities – including Charlotte Crosby, Bella Thorne, Noah Cyrus, Pamela Anderson, Krysten Ritter, and many others – who have teamed up with PETA or its international affiliates to speak out against marine parks.
PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment” – opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.au or follow the group on Facebook or Instagram.