Make your own free website on
- March 5, 20001

Dear Humane Colleague:

The City of Cleveland, Ohio has recently unveiled plans to build a new state-of-the-art aquarium that may include the display of dolphins,whales, seals, and other marine life.  Details are still hard to come by now, but we are diligently working to obtain all the facts.

Ohioans for Animal Rights (OAR) is asking that your organization write a statement on letterhead stationery and then snail mail (not email) it to us at the address below.  We are requesting statements of animal, conservation, wildlife, environmental, vegetarian, and humanitarian groups in order to show united, international objection to this proposal.

We will present them to Cleveland's leadership and the news media at a strategic point in the near future.

Keep in mind that; Cleveland's old aquarium was closed in 1986 due to lack of attention and revenue.  It was in horrible condition (I was there) when it was closed.  The "residents" of the old aquarium were sent to the Cleveland Zoo, which now houses 35 salt-and fresh-water tanks.

 Among others, they display sharks, piranhas, stingrays, and moray eels. We also have a Sea World less than 30 miles southeast of downtown Cleveland.

Counting birds and fish, SeaWorld Cleveland is home to thousands of animals, including killer whales, seals, sea lions, commerson's dolphins, Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, and otters.

Marine mammals suffer terribly in captivity and public opinion is decidedly anti-captivity, but the city of Cleveland is sorely out of touch on this issue.

Dolphins navigate and communicate by echolocation - - bouncing sonar waves off other objects to determine shape, density, distance, and location.

In captivity, the reverberations from their own sonar bouncing off tank walls drive some dolphins insane. According to Jean-Michel Cousteau, "Their world becomes a maze of meaningless reverberations." Stress-induced ulcers are so common in captive dolphins that most aquariums stock Pepto-Bismol.

The Shedd Aquarium in Chicago has repeatedly proven to be a death trap for animals. Since December 1988, five beluga whales, four dolphins, and numerous other animals have died at the facility. Two of the whales and one dolphin died within their first two months of captivity.

A dolphin calf died just moments after his birth, and two beluga whales born at the aquarium did not survive beyond a month. In 1990, 80 percent of Shedd's penguin population died after aspergillus ravaged their enclosure.

Dolphins and other cetaceans are highly social animals who are traumatized when ripped from their families and thrown into small tanks. In captivity, marine mammals are subject to chronic and debilitating stress, which weakens their immune system and negates purported benefits such as veterinary care and regular meals.

Your statement can be as long or as short as you would like it.  We realize that some may not fully endorse all ideals of animal rights, but we ask that you set aside any differences and help us keep more creatures from being ripped from the sea for the sake of entertainment and greed.  And we also realize that this may be an issue beyond the usual scope of your organization.  For the sake of the animals, we ask that you unite with us in solidarity to prevent needless animal exploitation and suffering.

If you would like us to email you samples of statements that other groups have already sent us, please feel free to email and ask us for those.  We did not include samples with this email, because we were trying to keep this request as short as possible.  If you would like us to snail mail you copies, please send OAR a SASE with 34 cents postage (USA only) to OAR at our address below.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email us. Please feel free to send this request to any other organizations that may be inclined to send us a statement.  Thanks for your help!

David P. Sickles, Director
Ohioans for Animal Rights
P.O. Box 5832
Eastlake OH  44095-0832, USA