Thomas Cook joins a growing list of travel companies in ditching the controversial attractions, including Tripadvisor and Expedia among others
Thomas Cook has cut ties with marine parks, according to vegan charity PETA which says the move follows its talks with the travel giant.
It joins a growing list of companies which have stopped promoting SeaWorld and similar controversial attractions.
Among them are British Airways Holidays, Virgin Atlantic Holidays, Club Med, Booking.com, Your Co-op Travel, Expedia, and Tripadvisor.
According to PETA, Thomas Cook confirmed the news in its new animal welfare policy that its website will not sell tickets to SeaWorld or any other park that confines the marine animals for entertainment.
As well as moving away from activities like ‘swim with dolphin’ experiences, Thomas Cook’s new policy also bans elephant riding and bullfighting.
Thomas Cook cuts ties with marine parks
Writing about the news, PETA said: “Thomas Cook’s commitment to cutting ties with these exploitative parks comes after the death of Kiska in March 2023, who was known as the world’s loneliest orca.
“Kiska was taken from the wild when she was 3 years old and spent much of her miserable life alone. Her sole tankmate died in 2011, and all five of her calves born into captivity died.”
It added that heartbreaking footage captured by Animal Justice exposed Kiska’s distress and frustration ‘as she floated listlessly and hurled herself against the walls of her tank before she also died’.
Noting that Kiska’s experience is ‘not unique’, PETA points out that ‘orcas just like her are languishing in marine parks so that humans can gawk at them and watch them do demeaning tricks’.
Now the charity is calling on every travel agent and operator to cut ties with marine parks, in a bid to end the suffering experienced by animals who are separated from their families and kept in captivity, citing Jet2holidays and TUI as companies which still support them.
Animals are often kept in cramped spaces in marine parks, which PETA described as ‘around 10,000 times smaller than their natural home range’ of up to 150 miles of ocean every day.
PETA cites SeaWorld as having around ‘140 dolphins…packed into just seven tanks’ while Loro Parque’s keeps them in areas smaller than the car park.
The charity says: “No travel provider should profit from cruelty to animals, yet companies like Jet2holidays are still giving a financial lifeline to dolphin prisons like Loro Parque.
“Please urge travel providers Jet2holidays and TUI to join Thomas Cook in cutting ties with this abuse.”
What do you think about keeping animals in captivity? Find out whether zoos really contribute to animal conservation and protect the environment
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