Sea World Calls Tommy Lee's Allegations 'Ludicrous'
Sea World bosses have hit back at rocker Tommy Lee, insisting allegations park keepers enforce a bizarre breeding program for killer whales are "beyond ludicrous."
The Motley Crue drummer fired off a rambling letter to Terry W. Prather, the president of the Orlando, Florida complex, on Tuesday, demanding the release of a whale in captivity to put a stop to claims the mammal was being used as a "sperm bank."
Lee, backed by officials from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), used the missive to condemn the odd way handlers reportedly masturbated orca whale Tilikum for breeding.
He also expressed his anger over allegations SeaWorld staff were allowed contact with Tilikum, despite the whale killing its trainer earlier this year.
He wrote, "We understand that you refuse to release this frustrated whale because he is your chief sperm bank, and we know from SeaWorld's own director of safety... that the way you get his sperm is by having someone get into the pool and masturbate him with a cow's vagina filled with hot water.
"Even during my wildest days with Motley Crue, I never could've imagined something so sick and twisted..."
But a representative for SeaWorld has blasted the claims, insisting PETA executives' research is flawed.
In a statement to TMZ.com, the spokesperson says, "The process of collecting semen for (artificial insemination) doesn't differ in any meaningful way from the techniques employed in managing livestock or other species for zoological display.
"Contrary to the charges made by PETA and repeated in Lee's letter, our trainers do not now nor have they ever entered the water with Tilikum for this purpose. The safety of SeaWorld staff and the welfare of our animals are our highest priorities.
"If Mr. Lee’s information on Tilikum and SeaWorld’s artificial insemination program for killer whales comes from PETA we’re not surprised that it’s wrong. PETA is as careless with facts as they are extreme in their views."
The rep adds, "Whatever his views on SeaWorld, Mr. Lee would be wise to spend more time checking his facts."
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