The SeaWorld theme park has fired back at MÖTLEY CRÜE drummer Tommy Lee for his letter objecting to the blaring of rock music and use of CRÜE songs during “Shamu Rocks” shows, claiming it tortured the animals. SeaWorld representative Fred Jacobs said, “PETA [People For The Ethical Treatment Of Animals] is wrong concerning the effect of music on SeaWorld‘s killer whales . . . we have never played a MÖTLEY CRÜE song in any Shamu show, nor will we. I can assure you the volume of music played during parts of our killer-whale shows poses no risk at all to our animals.”
This was followed by a response by Lee, who wrote in a new letter dated August 13, “Thanks for the expected lame corporate response which avoids the issue at hand.
“PETA‘s SeaWorld campaign and my letter are based on science from the UN wildlife panel and an NRDC study on how loud noises are tortuous to marine mammals, especially captive ones.
“SeaWorld won’t address the issue of noise torture because you can’t defend it.
“I’m glad to know ‘Shamu Rocks’ doesn’t feature any MÖTLEY CRÜE music; PETA members are now monitoring the sad shows to see which bands are featured so that those bands can learn about this issue too.”
According to PETA, the “Shamu Rocks” shows put orcas in an environment that is even more stressful than the one they already are forced to endure.
Says PETA: “Orcas at SeaWorld are already denied everything that is natural and important to them. These intelligent animals are forced to learn circus-style tricks and are confined to pitifully small concrete tanks, where they have no choice but to swim in endless circles. Like many marine animals, orcas are guided by an intricate sonar system, which is thwarted in small aquarium tanks. Excessive outside noise only adds to the animals’ distress, causing them to become fearful and aggressive. Some experts say that a noise level of 70 decibels is too much for the orcas to handle, yet ‘Shamu Rocks’ shows reach up to 90 decibels. These shows teach visitors all the wrong lessons: that it is acceptable to imprison animals, deprive them of freedom of movement and thought, and use them for our entertainment, despite the risks to their physical and mental health.”
In 2010, Lee fired off a letter to SeaWorld over its treatment of the 12,000-pound orca named Tilikum which was involved in the death of three people, most recently Dawn Brancheau, a 40-year-old trainer with 16 years of experience at SeaWorld. Lee complained about the way SeaWorld got whale sperm from Tilikum, writing, “We know from SeaWorld‘s own director of safety (as well as videos on the web) that the way you get his sperm is by having someone get into the pool and masturbate him with a cow’s vagina filled with hot water.
“Even in my wildest days with MOTLEY CRUE, I never could’ve imagined something so sick and twisted.”