People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) wants to see the Tampa Bay Rays remove a “touch tank” from Tropicana Field, saying that it puts the 30 or so rays living there in danger of bring struck by a ball.
Since the touch tank was installed, two batters have managed to hit a ball that far: the Dodgers’ Luis Gonzalez in 2007 and the Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera, who managed to do it last week. No rays were harmed in either instance.
The tank is an attraction for fans: only 50 are allowed in to pet and feed the cownose rays. This sort of exhibit is common in aquariums across the country, and it’s administered by The Florida Aquarium. Proceeds from the tank visits go to charity.
A copy of the letter was emailed to The Tampa Tribune by a PETA media representative. In the letter, PETA asks the team and aquarium to work together to rehabilitate the rays and return them to their natural habitat.
“The rays held captive at Tropicana Field not only were traumatically taken from their vast home waters but also are subject to harassment, loud crowds, and even baseballs capable of seriously injuring them,” Winders said in a statement to the media. “When it comes to compassion, the Rays are batting .000.”
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