Munchkin Inc., the award-winning, global baby product company, announced November 9th a kick-start pledge of $1 million to help build a coastal ocean sanctuary in the United States for captive orcas if SeaWorld agrees to free its orca, Tilikum, to be the first occupant. Along with that pledge, Munchkin is launching the “Orcas Live in Oceans” campaign in collaboration with Whale and Dolphin Conservation. The campaign includes multiple levels of commitment by Munchkin as well as opportunities for people world-wide to support the cause.
Steven Dunn, CEO and founder of Munchkin, personally reached out to SeaWorld requesting the release of Tilikum (the Orca made famous in the documentary “Blackfish”) to become the first inhabitant of the ocean sanctuary that would be built with funds kick-started by Munchkin’s $1 million donation.
“Munchkin is proposing an alternative solution for the current marine park model,” said Dunn. “We are pledging $1 million to build an ocean sanctuary in the U.S. if SeaWorld agrees to free Tilikum upon completion.”
In addition, Munchkin is removing its orca from the company’s top-selling Sea Squirt Bath Toy Collection.
“Here at Munchkin, we’re putting our principles before profits to help raise awareness for this cause,” said Dunn. “After 10 years of including a toy orca as part of our top-selling Sea Squirt Bath Toy collection, Munchkin will no longer include an orca in the set because a bathtub just isn’t big enough for an orca.”
Additionally, from November 9th through November 16th, 2015, 100% of all proceeds from sales at www.munchkin.com will be donated to WDC, with Munchkin offering free shipping on all orders for that week.
Call to Action
To kick-start the “Orcas Live in Oceans” campaign, Munchkin has produced a video that is now live at Orcas Live In Oceans. The moving video ignites a call to action to cease the commercialization of these majestic mammals and allow them to live the rest of their lives happily and safely in natural coastal ocean sanctuaries. Munchkin encourages all to help support their efforts by visiting www.munchkin.com/OrcasLiveInOceans for additional information on how to donate to the cause. Concerned supporters can also follow the #OrcasLiveinOceans conversation on Facebook.com/Munchkin, on Twitter @Munchkin_Inc, and on Instagram @munchkininc.
“As a father of two and business owner, I’ve always felt a responsibility to lead by example,” said Dunn. “The entire Munchkin team believes that with success comes an obligation to contribute to a better world for future generations. It is time for us to take action and return these beautiful creatures to their rightful home – the ocean.”
At least 151 orcas have been taken into captivity from the wild since 1961 (including Pascuala and Morgan).
The growing uneasiness with the concept of keeping orcas in captivity has only been increased by the renowned documentary Blackfish, documenting the reality of the captives' existence. Despite the best attempts of the display industry to blow a smokescreen over such negative publicity, the wider world is now increasingly aware that all is not well in fantasy-land. In recent years, first a trickle, then a steady torrent, of incidents have been reported. A growing catalogue of 'accidents', illnesses, failed pregnancies and premature deaths that have helped to show up this industry for the cruel circus that it really is.