Help Seals and Sea Lions in Dire Conditions at the Morro Bay Aquarium!
The Morro Bay Aquarium has held seals and sea lions and other sea animals in horrific conditions for nearly 50 years now. The one seal and three sea lions who currently live there spend their entire lives in pools no larger than a Jacuzzi. It isn’t only that they live in small spaces, unable even to swim, but also that they are not provided proper care. The aquarium has been cited for numerous violations of the Animal Welfare Act over the years, and their attending veterinarian is a local small animals veterinarian who says he has no knowledge of how to treat marine mammals. What is even more heartbreaking is that from the records maintained by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, we know that at least 24 seals and sea lions have died there and, appallingly, only one of natural causes. Some have drowned, some have died from being kept in water contaminated by sewage, others from preventable or treatable illnesses, and one, the owners reported, died because he was “love sick.”
Thankfully, the lease for the space is up for renewal and we now have a narrow window of opportunity to close down the aquarium forever. While the owners are eager to renew the lease, the space is public property, and so it is up to the Morro Bay City Council. If the lease is renewed, more seals and sea lions will undoubtedly continue to be exploited. Those of us working to help the seal and sea lions at the aquarium need your help now! We need you to write to the Morro Bay City Council and to the mayor asking them not to renew the lease. Please explain to them why this kind of treatment of animals is simply unacceptable, and tell them you won’t visit Morro Bay unless the aquarium is closed.
We need you to act soon because the council will decide June 25th whether or not to renew the lease or to consider proposals for other uses of the site. We are facing stiff opposition as the owners have many friends and family in the community who believe there is nothing wrong with exploiting animals for human entertainment. Please help us ensure that no more seals and sea lions will suffer and die in this horrific place. The seal and sea lions living in these deplorable conditions thank you, and so do those of us who are working on their behalf!
- Sarah Spengeman