Students in Class 4 of Thelwall Community School in Warrington have been given a Compassionate Action Award for writing letters to expose the suffering of captive orcas at SeaWorld.
Teacher Rosie O'Hara let the children choose a real life topic as part of their persuasive writing lesson. They did their own research and found that orcas are trapped in small, barren tanks, where they suffer from year after year of illness and stress before they die much earlier than they would in the wild.
The letters from the children include hand drawn illustrations to encourage the public to join PETA in their efforts to release the captured orcas to seaside sanctuaries.
"Please stop whale napping these creatures", pleads one student.
"SeaWorld gives customers more room to park than they give orcas to live. This is horrific!" writes another, while a third poignantly asks, "Doesn't it break your heart that orcas die at the age [of] 13 when in the wild they live for 30 years?"
"Kids naturally love animals and are eager to call for orcas' freedom once they learn how these sensitive beings suffer in captivity", says PETA UK Director Mimi Bekhechi. "We're grateful that these kind students are spreading the message that orcas belong in their ocean homes - not in captivity."
The children's letters show how these sensitive and higly intelligent marine animals are held at marine parks like SeaWorld and denied everything that is natural and normal to them. This includes complex social relationships and 100-mile journeys they would usually cover in just a day in the wild.
When they are imprisoned in tanks- the orcas have no choice but to swim in endless circles and can break their teeth from the constant nibbling on metal tank bars because they're bored or stressed.
PETA - whose motto reads, in part, that "animals are not ours to use for entertainment" - continues to urge all marine parks to retire their long-suffering orcas to seaside sanctuaries.
For more information, please visit PETA.org.uk.