People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Inc. v. Miami Seaquarium

879 F.3d 1142 (2018)

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People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Inc. v. Miami Seaquarium

United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
879 F.3d 1142 (2018)

AR

Facts

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Inc. (PETA) (plaintiff) sued Miami Seaquarium (defendant) for violating the Endangered Species Act by taking an endangered killer whale and displaying it to the public. PETA argued that Seaquarium was perpetrating an unlawful take under the act by harming or harassing the whale. PETA claimed that the conditions of her tank and captivity rose to the level of an unlawful take. The district court found that an actionable claim for harm or harassment only arose if conduct gravely threatened or could threaten a creature’s survival. In this case, the whale had lived much longer than whales in the wild. PETA appealed, arguing that the whale had been harmed and harassed because it had suffered physical and psychological injuries by being kept in the tank, it did not have a whale swimming companion, it had an eye condition requiring eye drops, its companion dolphins acted aggressively, it was exposed to medicines not available to whales in the wild, and it was exposed to excessive sun exposure.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)

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