Actor James Cromwell protests SeaWorld San Diego orca show

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Actor James Cromwell greeted a crowd with a protest at SeaWorld's "Orca Encounter" show Monday, according to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

The group held signs which read "SeaWorld Kills", said PETA.

PETA issued a statement from Cromwell which said, "Orcas deserve a full life in the ocean, not a life sentence of swimming endless circles until they drop dead from disease. My friends at PETA and I want SeaWorld to move these intelligent animals to seaside sanctuaries without delay."

RELATED: PETA protesters wore orca-style suits at Aquatica protest

SeaWorld responded to the protest:

"This was nothing more than a PETA publicity stunt. Our first priority is to ensure a safe and great experience for our guests, who come to SeaWorld to enjoy a day with their families.  Fortunately, we promptly managed the disruption and our guests were pleased with our actions.  The truth is that all our animals, including our orcas, are healthy and get extraordinary veterinary care from a dedicated and loving team of experts. According to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, SeaWorld is “meeting or exceeding the highest standard of animal care and welfare of any zoological organization in the world.” While only 7 protestors were trespassed at SeaWorld today, tens of thousands of people have been inspired and educated by our animals and our new Orca Encounter and other animal exhibits. SeaWorld is the nation’s true animal welfare organization, we have rescued more than 30,000 marine animals over the past 50 years, and we dedicate more than $10 million annually in conservation and rescue efforts. We will continue to focus our resources on real issues that help far more animals, like working with Humane Society of the United States to fight commercial whaling, shark finning, and continuing our efforts to rescue, rehabilitate and release injured and sick animals to the wild.  Also, so far this year, SeaWorld San Diego has rescued more than 600 marine mammals and birds, giving them a second chance at life."

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