In 1992, a baby orca, dubbed “Kshamenk,” was stranded, along with three
other orcas, off the Argentine coast. While the three other whales
apparently freed themselves, Kshamenk was taken into captivity under a
‘rehabilitation and rescue’ effort by “Mundo Marino S.A.,” an Argentinian
marine park. Because Argentina has strict laws prohibiting the capture of
marine mammals for public display, many animal advocates find the
circumstances behind Kshamenk’s “rescue” to be highly questionable. There
has always been serious speculation that Mundo Marino’s “rescues” were
simply vehicles for circumventing Argentina’s prohibition on marine mammal
Now, ten years later, Mundo Marino is trying to ship Kshamenk to an
amusement park in Ohio, so that he can serve out the rest of his life as
an amusement park attraction. While the National Marine Fisheries Service
(NMFS) has issued Funtime, Inc. (doing business as “Six Flags”) a permit
to import the orca Kshamenk into the U.S., the Argentinian government has
yet to grant it an export permit. If the Argentinian government does
decide to grant the permit, it will set a terrible precedent of allowing
facilities like Mundo Marino to capture wild animals under the pretenses
of “rescuing” them, only to sell them to foreign, profit-driven companies.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Contact Argentinian authorities and ask them to deny the export permit
requested by Mundo Marino S.A. to transfer the Argentinian orca “Kshamenk”
to the U.S.
- Lic. Oscar Padín, Argentinian Director of Ichthyology and Aquaculture:
- Ing. Ftal. Carlos Merenson, Secretary of Sustainable Development &
Environmental Policy: email@example.com
- Victoria Lichtschein, Argentinian CITES authority:
Tell the Argentine authorities that granting an export permit to Mundo
Marino will only validate what is a highly questionable and possibly
illegal response to marine mammal strandings— a "rescue" and
"rehabilitation" of a basically healthy animal that inevitably leads to a
permanent life in captivity.
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