It is time to do a showdown and decide who is saving more animals?  The publicly traded for-profit company SeaWorld Entertainment or the publicity crazed animal right groups PETA.

PETA, or people for the ethical treatment of animals, is a not for profit known for flashy ad campaigns, celebrity endorsements and protests, however some criticize them for unessescary euthanasia and unethical ad campaigns. SeaWorld is the world’s largest zoological organization and marine animal rescue program who has combated controversy since 2013 and the release of the film “Blackfish”.

Here at ZooNation we decided to investigate both SeaWorld and PETA and see who really saved the most animals in 2016, and who is deserving of your support, time and money.

Both SeaWorld and PETA maintain their attitude toward animals is the correct one and criticize the other for manipulating facts and not truly putting animals first. But who truly is doing more good for animals in the world? Who deserves your patronage, your time and money?

We went on a truth hunt to find out.

Editors Note: ZooNation contacted both SeaWorld and PETA for comment on this article.  SeaWorld was incredibly helpful in providing data, species information and additional information. When we reached to PETA, they refused to answer basic questions about their rescue operations.

Mission Statements

PETA protest

PETA protest

PETA – works through public education, cruelty investigations, research, animal rescue, legislation, special events, celebrity involvement, and protest campaigns.

Guests at SeaWorld getting close with a Beluga Whale

Guests at SeaWorld getting close with a Beluga Whale

SeaWorld –  one of the world’s foremost zoological organizations and collectively care for one of the largest zoological collections on the North American continent.  Their commitment to animals extends around the world through significant financial contributions and resource support for conservation, wildlife rescue and education programs worldwide.  

Animal Mission WINNER: DRAW  It is clear that both organizations want to educate the public about animals, however they go about it in radically different ways.  PETA believes that protest, celebrities and covert operations are the best way to help animals.  SeaWorld believes connecting people to the natural world and funding conservation is the best way to help animals.

Animals Rescued in 2016

SeaWorld rescue team rescuing an endangered Manatee

SeaWorld rescue team rescuing an endangered Manatee

Both SeaWorld and PETA claim to have a 24/7 animal rescue team. How did they both compare in 2016.

PETA – provided no information on rescues in 2016, and their website only cites a large rescue from 2012.  However according to PETA’s 2016 financial report they spent $15,578,094 on “Research, Investigations and Rescues”

SeaWorld – In 2016 SeaWorld parks rescued 2,150 animals.  At SeaWorld San Diego, they rescued 403 California Sea Lions, 24 Harbor Seals, 16 Norther Elephant Seals, 7 Sea Turtles, 3 common dolphins, 2 Guadalupe fur seals, 7 humpback whale, and 534 birds representing over 61 different species.  That was just at SeaWorld San Diego!  Over the past 50 years SeaWorld has rescued over 29,000 animals.

RESCUE WINNER: SEAWORLD – it is clear that SeaWorld’s rescue team is out there 24/7 rescuing animals.

Animals Euthanized in 2016


Both SeaWorld and PETA claim to be a shelter of last resort, the dropping place for animals, but how does each organization, handle animal drop offs.

PETA – Since 1998 PETA has euthanized over 36,000 animals at its animal shelter.  Ingrid Newkirk, PETA’s founder explains, “PETA believes euthanasia is the kindest gift to a dog or cat unwanted and unloved.”  In 2016 PETA received 2,007 animals at its animal shelter, and only adopted out 54 animals.  A 3% adoption rate. With 1,428 confirmed euthanized and the fate of another 482 unknown.

SeaWorldDoes not euthanize unwanted animals.  SeaWorld first works to release all rescued animals back into their natural habitat, and if they are deemed non-releasable by the US Federal Government, they work with the Federal Government to find a forever home for that animal.  SeaWorld goes to extreme lengths to save every animal, regardless of size or species.

LEAST ANIMALS EUTHANIZED WINNER: SEAWORLD – If you love animals, then you want to support an organization that works hard to save them like SeaWorld does, and doesn’t just euthanize them when they are deemed as PETA’s founder says “unwanted and unloved.”

Global Conservation Projects

SeaWorld Ambassador Clay Carbajal working with the Painted Dogs Conservation program in Africa

SeaWorld Ambassador Clay Carbajal working with the Painted Dogs Conservation program in Africa

While helping animals in human care is great, what about animals in wild, that need protecting from humans?  Who is doing a better job at helping those animals?

PETA – No information could be found on PETA’s website about any conservation programs they are involved in or fund. In fact there is no information at all on their website on how any of their programs benefit animals in the wild.

SeaWorld – the SeaWorld Busch Gardens Conservation Fund, is a non-profit operated by SeaWorld that donates to conservation projects all over the world.  With projects on 6 continents and benefiting hundreds of species globally the SeaWorld Busch Gardens Conservation Fund‘s impact on the planet is truly impressive.

WINNER: SEAWORLD – The global impact of the SWBG Conservation Fund is something everyone should be proud of and should be celebrating.


A baby manatee rescued by SeaWorld

A baby manatee rescued by SeaWorld

PETA – When you get past the press releases, the celebrity endorsements, and the shocking staged events, it becomes clear that PETA cares a lot of about press, but less about animals it feigns to protect.   With over $15,000,000 in 2016 allocated to their 24/7 animal rescue team, PETA should have something to show for those donation.

SeaWorld – while embattled by PETA and other radical groups has maintained an incredible rescue organization and and impressive conservation program.  So while people buying tickets to SeaWorld for the day might be riding rides, and seeing shows and learning about marine life up-close, what is clear is that their commitment to animals is real.  Their dedication is real, and your hard earned money is accomplishing great things.

From our perspective SeaWorld is the clear winner of this showdown, and deservers your patronage.   So please before you donate to PETA or other radical groups making fanatical claims, please take a moment and examine who is really saving animals.

10 thoughts on “SHOWDOWN: PETA vs SeaWorld

  1. Cheryl

    The results didn’t surprise me at all. Always knew that PETA and HSUS were shammers – only looking to line their pockets or have their ‘minutes’ of fame and having the animals pay for it

  2. Karen Leininger

    Sea world does more for the animals than PETA!! That’s for sure! Sea world keep doing the good work!

  3. Sara

    Even before I started reading I knew that Sea world would win. PETA is a disgusting organization that only cares about making money and trying to ruin other businesses. What sort of animal rights group could kills so many innocent animals that don’t have a home and then say they shouldn’t be pets. Sea world does amazing things for their animals, I watched a little girl bring in a bird with a broken wing she found on the side of the road and they still took him in.

  4. Kianna

    Oh, PETA, so you want us to boycott SeaWorld?
    Tell me how many animals have you saved?
    Seriously, this post is right. SeaWorld still saves more animals than PETA.

  5. jan

    when SW gives up their disgusting relationship with the HSUS I will support them again PETA? never never ever but SW and Manbys relationship with the HSUS keeps me from ever going there again

  6. Sherri Constable

    SeaWorld Care is the reason I will always support SeaWorld and Busch Gardens! Everyone I have meet that cares for the animals do it because They Love the animals! They do not do it for the glory! I have hated PETA due to they put animals and children in danger! I was at a swimming pool where PETA was protesting! PETA throw fake Blood into the pool! My friend’s young children was so frightened that they never went back to the pool! People who were injured! I have no respect for a group who kills animals and hurt children!


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