In the Wake of Massive Layoffs and Attendance Slumps, PETA Calls for Park to Evolve Beyond Animal Exploitation
For Immediate Release:
December 19, 2016
Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382
Orlando, Fla. – As SeaWorld continues to struggle—and as hundreds of recent employee layoffs, California’s ban on captive-orca breeding, and three years of drops in attendance, profits, and stock value all take their toll—PETA, which owns stock in the company, submitted a shareholder resolution today calling on it to retire orcas to seaside sanctuaries and replace the captive-orca exhibits with virtual and augmented reality.
“The only way for SeaWorld to regain the trust of disillusioned visitors and rebuild its tarnished brand is to retire the orcas to seaside sanctuaries,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA’s shareholder resolution gives SeaWorld a path to survival through virtual reality exhibits that will engage, entertain, and educate visitors without exploiting any animals.”
In the wild, orcas share intricate social relationships, work cooperatively to find food, and traverse up to 100 miles of ocean every day. But as PETA’s shareholder resolution notes, those in SeaWorld’s tanks float listlessly, fracture their teeth by gnawing on steel gates and concrete walls, and lash out at trainers and other orcas. Some have even been given the drug diazepam to manage stress-induced aggressive behavior, and 38 have died prematurely on SeaWorld’s watch.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—purchased stock in SeaWorld when it first became publicly available in 2013. Since then, the animal rights group has asked a question at every annual meeting, and it withdrew its 2016 resolution—that SeaWorld ban captive-orca breeding—after the company pledged to do just that.
PETA’s shareholder resolution is available upon request. For more information, please visit SeaWorldOfHurt.com.