July 4th…not everyone gets to celebrate their independence.
As some of you know I am a British Citizen living in the States. Yes I miss my family, yes I miss the food but I love being in America. I feel proud to be here. I feel even more proud of my American-born children. I have no interest in returning home other than for short visits. I celebrate July 4th every single year with my family. I love the celebrations, I love the food and I love the over-all sense of community. This year my thoughts have changed a little bit. Not for the Holiday itself, but more for those who can’t celebrate it the way they should.
Shouka, a Killer Whale living at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in California, will never have a chance to celebrate her freedom. While millions of Americans are sitting at the park eating a picnic and watching beautiful fireworks, Shouka is stuck in a small pen. She has probably performed three separate occasions by the time you’ve read this post. She’s forced to do silly and unnatural tricks for frozen food. She’s then gawked at by thousands of people for hours upon end. At the end of her long and rigirous day she sleeps in her back pen by HERSELF.
Not only is she a prisoner to Six Flags but she’s also completely alone. She has no companion to talk to and no friends to play with. This is wrong, just plain wrong. The best part about all of this is that Six Flags refuse to acknowledge that they are breaking the Animal Welfare Act. They refuse to listen to any of my phones calls and also Wendy Burnot’s phone calls. They refuse to listen to our concerns and point blank ignore any kind of email or letter. The same goes for APHIS. They also are not returning phone calls, not answering our questions and apparently don’t think that Six Flags is doing any wrong leaving Shouka companion-less.
This has got to change. Tweet the Shouka petition on twitter, that you can find here. Also, share it on your Facebook, Google plus and any other social networking account you may have. Emailing it out is also a wonderful idea. We have to try anything and everything to make sure that this Orca never has to live another lonely day. Today will be a busy day at Six Flags, full of people watching her shows and coming to catch a glimpse of this beautiful animal. The fireworks in the evening, held at the park, will more than likely scare her or cause some discomfort to her usual lonely life.
Enjoy your holiday and enjoy your freedom – not everyone gets to celebrate it.