Former “Baywatch” star and PETA supporter Pamela Anderson visited the Kremlin on Monday to urge Russian leaders to better protect wild animals.
In a meeting with Vladimir Putin’s chief of staff, Sergei Ivanov, which was televised on state-owned news channel RT, Ms. Anderson talked about the need for conservation of the endangered Amur (or Siberian) tigers, asked the Kremlin to uphold laws banning the hunting of harp seals in the White Sea and on the import of their skins, and asked for the government to end orca captivity.
"I think Russia could really win over some hearts and minds in the West if Russia were to take a leadership position on defending wildlife and the rights of animals," Anderson said at the meeting on Monday, Agence France-Presse reported.
"Russia has proven to be a nation unafraid to take undaunted action where action is needed," she said.
The actress and model has lent her name to a variety of causes. She has urged officials in her home province of British Columbia in Canada to stop culling wolves, pressured M.A.C. cosmetics to stop testing on animals, and offered to pay for 30 life-sized faux elephants so that the Indian state of Kerala would use them instead of live elephants in a popular parade.
This is Anderson’s second visit to Russia this fall. In September, she attended an economic forum in the country’s eastern city of Vladivostok at the invitation of Russian Natural Resources Minister Sergei Donskoi, according to The Moscow Times, which reports that the American star is very popular in Russia for her role as a lifeguard in the 1990s American television show "Baywatch."
During this week’s trip, she criticized Russia for keeping orca whales at an aquarium in Moscow that opened in August.
"I don't think any whales should be in captivity," said Anderson. "I'm very surprised that they have captured these animals and hopefully they will be set free into the wild."
Anderson and celebrities like Harry Styles and Matt Damon joined PETA in protesting SeaWorld in San Diego in November. The company faced public protests and a dip in visitors after a 2013 documentary, called "Blackfish," accused it of mistreating killer whales at its parks.
“I think people who care would never go to SeaWorld,” she said in a video at a demonstration in California last month. “So don’t go to SeaWorld,” she instructed.
Succumbing to public and financial pressure, SeaWorld CEO Joel Manby announced last month a plan to phase out controversial orca whale shows at its San Diego park by 2017, The Christian Science Monitor reported.