After 3 Years, Mystery of Whale Postcards Is Solved

Attorney Matthew Strugar was the subject of a friendly prank for 3 years
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 28, 2021 5:10 PM CST
Why Were Whales Sending Him Postcards? Mystery Solved
A file photo from SeaWorld shows Kasatka, one of the entertainment company's last killer whales to come from the wild. Kasatka was euthanized in 2017.   (SeaWorld via AP)

(Newser) – If anyone deserves to get a postcard from a whale, it's Matthew Strugar, a civil rights attorney who made headlines several years ago by suing SeaWorld on behalf of the animals. The case, while unsuccessful, served the larger purpose of raising awareness about conditions and cemented Strugar's role as an animal advocate. Three years ago, the whales apparently began showing their gratitude. Strugar received a SeaWorld postcard, one that showed two Orcas on the front during a show. On the back, the sender wrote: “On the other side of this message is a photo of the humiliating activities that our captors force us to perform. Perhaps you can use this as evidence. Thank you for all the work you do for us. Sincerely, Your imprisoned orca clients.” As the Los Angeles Times explains, it was only the first of a series of such postcards Strugar would receive.

Every few months, he would get another. They'd come from different parts of the country, in different handwriting, often displaying a depth of legal knowledge. All were from an old SeaWorld tourist pack of postcards, and Strugar loved them. “I don’t want to call it a prank because it feels like almost an art project,” he tells the newspaper, which unwinds the story. This year, fellow attorney Brad Thomson revealed himself to be the mastermind by handing Strugar the final card in person. As it turns out, Thomson had found an old stack of SeaWorld postcards in a box from his childhood, decided it would be fun to send them anonymously to Strugar, and enlisted colleagues to help. He says he was inspired by Jim's endless pranking of Dwight on The Office, though the intent here was to genuinely thank Strugar for his work. Strugar put up the postcards in a viral thread on Twitter. (Read more whales stories.)

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