SeaWorld is responding to allegations from rocker Tommy Lee and PETA that they are torturing killer whales with rock music.
Along with PETA, Tommy Lee wrote to SeaWorld officials last week, urging them to stop blaring music during Shamu Rocks shows (as well as banning them from using Motley Crue’s music) because the mammals are incredibly sensitive to sound. This sensitivity is amplified by the bright lights of the show, and their unnatural, restrictive caged environment.
Fred Jacobs, SeaWorld representative, claims Tommy Lee and PETA are confused–not only about the volume of the music being played but “the effect of music on Sea World’s killer whales.” “I can assure you,” Jacobs said, “the volume of music played during parts of our killer whale shows poses no risk at all to our animals.” He follows up saying, “We have never played a Motley Crue song in any Shamu show, nor will we.”
Unsatisfied with the response, Lee has written SeaWorld again, stating “SeaWorld won’t address the issue of noise torture because you can’t defend it.” He argues that his stance is informed by “science from the UN (United Nations) wildlife panel and an Nrdc(Natural Resources Defense Council) study on how loud noises are tortuous to marine mammals, especially captive ones.”
While losing fans or an opportunity to have their music utilized is uncommon among musicians, Tommy Lee says “I’m glad to know Shamu Rocks doesn’t feature any Motley Crue music; Peta members are now monitoring the sad shows to see which bands are featured so that those bands can learn about this issue too.”