SeaWorld Is Under Investigation for Statements Made About Blackfish
01:10, Jun 27, 2017
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"On June 16, 2017, the Company's Board of Directors formed a Special Committee comprised of independent directors with respect to these inquiries", saidthe filing, which was made public Friday. Activists say the large animals were inhumanely treated by keeping them in small tanks, when they should be kept at sea in pens.
"Blackfish" chronicled the debate over captive killer whales and the negative effects they experience in captivity, with a particular focus on an orca named Tilikum that killed a SeaWorld trainer in 2010.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission also subpoenaed SeaWorld in connection with the comments although it was unclear if they were also issued this month. The Orlando, Florida -based water park operator responded to the film by calling it false, misleading and "emotionally manipulative" propaganda.
Animal rights organization PETA launched a campaign against SeaWorld.
In response to a question during a call to discuss its quarterly results in March 2014, then-Chief Executive Jim Atchison said the company had seen "no noticeable impact on our business", and that national surveys and data collected by the company "don't reflect any shift in sentiment about intent to visit our parks".
This year in April, SeaWorld announced the birth of a new whale, just over after they made a decision to stop breeding the creatures after animal rights protests and declining ticket sales.
"...[T] he committee and the board took into account the potential impact of Mr. D'Alessandro's immediate departure on the board's and the company's ability to successfully address certain challenges that the company now faces, including, without limitation, the matters set forth...below", the filing said, referring to the DOJ and SEC subpoenas.
Additional details about the investigations were not immediately available.
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