Cannes May 14, 2016
Sea Shepherd director Pamela Anderson was the first volunteer to step foot in the Tilikum Tank.
After the doors were closed the full impact of Orca captivity became very real.
It is hot just like the waters in the tanks at Marineland or SeaWorld where Orcas experience something they rarely suffer from in the wild – heat exhaustion and sunburn.
The floor, the walls and the ceiling are mirrors and because cetaceans can “see” with their ears, all that they perceive is the constant reflection of their own voices and that is overlaid with piped in trashy music just like the Orca prisons blast out to keep their paying human customers entertained.
The tank is a simulation for land dwelling primates of the torturous confines of the water filled cellblocks.
"Dolphins are animals "built" to travel hundreds of kilometers per day and experience their environment through their sonar. They have a whole sensorial world we cannot even begin to understand. By building the Tilikum Tank, in tribute to Tilikum, the orca that captivity have transformed into a psychotic killer, we wanted to allow people to get a slight taste of the lifetime of torture these sensient and intelligent animals are enduring for the only purpose to entertain us and our children during couple hours." said Lamya Essemlali, President of Sea Shepherd France and co director of Sea Shepherd Global.
Spending only a few minutes in this mirrored and noisy box is an extremely experience uncomfortable for a human being.
"I could not even stay the whole 3 minutes and when I got out of there, I wanted to bite someone. I can't imagine the hell it must be to spend your life in such conditions. This has to stop. I would like to see all these animals released in the wild where they belong, during my life time" stated Sea Shepherd director Pamela Anderson.
It is difficult to imagine the misery an Orca must endure year after year, held prisoner in a hostile alien environment that weakens their immune system and shortens their life.
Around the world some 70 Orcas are prisoners kept in sensory deprivation tanks. Some Orcas like Lolita have very small tanks and others have larger tanks they have to share with other Orcas.
These are wild intelligent self aware sentient beings, they were born to swim free in the sea, born to hunt and to socialize with their own kind. They were never meant to be imprisoned in concrete tanks and fed dead cold fish, to have humans masturbate them for their sperm and to breed them for their own amusement.
The Tilikum Tank will be circulating in France within the three main delphinariums and the public will be invited to step inside and experience for few minutes, the life of a captive dolphin.
The conditions are inhumane and captivity of such wondrous intelligent cetaceans is amoral and a disgrace to the human race.
Captain Paul Watson challenges the director of the Marineland, Arnaud Palu to spend 5 minutes isolated in the Sea Shepherd Tilikum tank and to emerge without feeling empathy for his prisoners.