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We advocate on all animal protection and exploitation issues, including experimentation, factory farming, rodeos, breeders and traveling animal acts.

Animal Defenders of Westchester
P.O. Box 205
Yonkers, NY 10704

Articles

REPORT ON THE LABOR DAY PROTEST TO FREE WHALES

From NY Whale and Dolphin Action League:

Many thanks to all, especially, Kiley, Camille, Greg, and all the rest for the great demo - the fabulous posters and all that SINGING! HOW COOL!!! It was really the best! There will be an article (and picture) in the Bay News, which might get put in all 5 weekly Brooklyn papers.

September 6, 2004
Taffy Lee Williams

REPORT ON THE LABOR DAY PROTEST

"STOP THE TORTURE! STOP THE PAIN!
NEW YORK AQUARIUM IS TO BLAME!"

Fourteen dedicated activists shook the boardwalk yesterday as hundreds of passers-by encouraged and praised  efforts to remove the beluga whales from the New York Aquarium.

The picture-perfect weather and large turnout made this an exceptional event.  Police and Aquarium security were on hand to witness the tremendous public support.  Hundreds of pieces of anti-captivity literature were distributed.  

Many people stated that though they had not thought about the situation before, after learning about the issue believed that keeping whales, dolphins or sea lions in concrete tanks was simply wrong.  

"It's terrible!" a Brooklyn resident remarked, as she joined in the strong, determined chants led by  protestor, Greg Novara.

"One-Two-Three-Four! Open Up The Tank Doors!
Five-Six-Seven-Eight! Educate and Liberate!"

"One Struggle! One Fight!
Human Freedom! Animal Rights!"

These were the sounds of the protestors, heard from a distance on the beach and up and down the boardwalk, as Labor Day vacationers stopped and signed letters, read our signs, and joined in the singing.  This was a day of victory for the belugas inside, endlessly circling three small holding tanks, filled with chemical and chlorine-treated water.  

Some of the signs read:  

NY AQ:
BELUGAS IN CHLORINATED TANKS =
BLIND BELUGAS

WHALES IN CONCRETE TANKS:
UNEDUCATIONAL
UNNATURAL
COSTLY and
INHUMANE!

Inside the Aquarium, three Arctic Beluga Whales endure a chillingly disturbing confinement.  Life in these unnatural concrete tanks is shortened, maddeningly monotonous, and may even lead to chlorine-induced blindness.  In the wild, belugas are known as the "CANARIES OF THE SEA," because of their constant chatter, song and incredible vocal dexterity.  The beluga "CANARIES OF THE SEA" in the New York Aquarium are silent.

After one blind beluga whale died in April, two more were brought in, originally on loan to the Mystic Aquarium.  One of the whales is wild caught, from one of the notoriously violent wild whale roundups, another's origin is reported as "unknown" by NOAA/NMFS, which activists believe means it is probably wild-caught as well.  

The third beluga whale was captive born.

These large, silent, often-blinded belugas are kept in concrete tanks at an enormous expense to the City of New York.   Last year, the city proposed a 50% cut in funding for the Wildlife Conservation Society, which manages and operates the NY Aquarium.  The cuts were expected to finally close the beluga exhibit.

Although aquarium security guards were present during the event, there was no response from the NY Aquarium to the protest.

"When Innocent Whales Are Under Attack, What Do We Do? Stand up! Fight Back!"

***

The New York Whale and Dolphin Action League is organizing a "Wildlife and Environmental Action Day," on Sunday, September 26, 2004, in White Plains, NY. Please visit our website, www.ny4whales.org , for more information.

Taffy Lee Williams, Director
New York Whale and Dolphin Action League
PO Box 273
Tuckahoe, NY 10707 USA
www.ny4whales.org  
914-793-9186


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