Thomas Cook, owned by the Fosun Tourism Group, has joined a long list of companies – including British Airways Holidays, Virgin Atlantic Holidays, Club Med, Booking.com, Your Co-op Travel, Expedia, and Tripadvisor – that have stopped promoting whale and dolphin prisons following discussions with PETA.
Thomas Cook’s New Policy
Thomas Cook has confirmed in its new animal welfare policy that its website will not sell tickets to SeaWorld – the world’s most notorious marine abusement park – or any other park that confines highly intelligent cetaceans in the name of entertainment. This includes “swim with dolphins” experiences, often based at marine parks, where dolphins may be kept in water less than 2 metres deep and are forced into constant interaction with an unrelenting stream of humans. The policy also bans other exploitative activities such as elephant riding and bullfighting.
Injustice in the Cetacean Captivity Trade
While free-roaming orcas will form complex relationships and traverse up to 150 miles of ocean every day, those held captive at marine parks are often separated from their families and kept in cramped tanks.
The majority spend decades confined to a prison around 10,000 times smaller than their natural home range. Around 140 dolphins are packed into just seven tanks at SeaWorld, and Loro Parque’s prison cell is smaller than the car park.
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. Animal Justice’s heartbreaking footage exposes Kiska’s distress and frustration as she floated listlessly and hurled herself against the walls of her tank before she also died.
Kiska’s harrowing story is not unique – around the world, orcas just like her are languishing in marine parks so that humans can gawk at them and watch them do demeaning tricks.
Kiska, an orca that spent over 40 years in captivity, has died 😢
All 5 of her babies died young, she spent years in isolation 😡
— PETA UK (@PETAUK) March 16, 2023
Tourism: A Financial Lifeline for Marine Park Prisons
PETA is calling on all travel agents and operators to stop promoting and selling tickets to marine parks, as dolphins and other marine animals suffer when they’re confined to cramped concrete tanks.
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.
How You Can Help Dolphins and Whales
Please urge travel providers Jet2holidays and TUI to join Thomas Cook in cutting ties with this abuse: