SeaWorld is in hot water yet again—this time, over the cover-up of 54 stingray deaths at a Chicago-area zoo. No, this isn’t some YouTube lizard-people conspiracy theory video. This is a real-life cover-up, and it’s sketchy AF.

The stingrays died at Brookfield Zoo in 2015 after an alleged malfunction of the exhibit’s life-support system caused the oxygen levels in their tank to plummet. The exhibit was a joint venture between Brookfield Zoo and SeaWorld, which apparently provided at least some of the stingrays.

You know your PETA homies weren’t going to stand for this ish, so we filed` a lawsuit under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) against the Forest Preserve District of Cook County (FPDCC)—which had contracted with the Chicago Zoological Society to run Brookfield Zoo—for withholding records related to the animals’ deaths.

Even though PETA’s submitted FOIA requests seeking records to uncover the exact nature of SeaWorld’s dealings with Brookfield Zoo and how 54 sensitive stingrays ended up dead, the FPDCC refuses to produce this information. Hmm, sus much? We appealed to the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, which found in our favor—but months later, the records are still being withheld in violation of the Illinois FOIA.

You already know SeaWorld sucks for animals. Did you know some 40 orcas, more than 300 other dolphins and whales, and approximately 450 seals, sea lions, and walruses have died at the SeaWorld’s prison-like parks? If that’s not proof enough of the company’s shady behavior, last year, SeaWorld refused to release necropsy reports for the three orcas who died there.

“Touch tanks,” like those used at SeaWorld and in Brookfield Zoo’s stingray exhibit, endanger both the animals in them and humans. There have been at least seven similar tank-malfunction incidents in the U.S. since 2007, resulting in dozens of stingray deaths.

People have been bitten and are at risk of developing viral, fungal, and bacterial infections. Look at this girl for example. Does it look like she’s having a good time at SeaWorld’s touch tanks? No, no it does not.

Humans are getting hurt, and meanwhile, the aquatic animal prisoners are unable to escape groping hands that contaminate the water with bacteria of their own – who knows what kind of gross places little Jenny is sticking her fingers in before she sticks them in the touch tanks (you know she don’t use tissues to blow her nose, that’s all I’m sayin’.)

SeaWorld - Shark Encounter | Josh Hallett | CC BY 2.0 

You Can Hit SeaWorld Where It Hurts

Dozens of companies have already cut ties with the sinking ship that is SeaWorld—make sure that AAA is the next to go.

Tell the motor club to stop supporting SeaWorld!