As if SeaWorld’s reputation with animal advocates wasn’t already sunk, the organization had the gall to feature live penguins traipsing through the center of the New York Stock Exchange Friday morning.
The company was in town to ring the opening bell as part of celebrations surrounding its IPO and new place under SEAS on the NYSE. According to Yahoo Finance, the trading raised $702 million in one of the largest IPOs of the year.
But if one new shareholder has its way, that penguin stunt – as well as many of the other business-as-usual animal policies that have drawn ire – will soon come to an end.
PETA has announced that it has purchased enough common stock to give the group the right to attend annual shareholder meetings, as well as submit shareholder resolutions.
“PETA’s goal is to stop SeaWorld from imposing a life of misery, confinement, and cruelty on orcas and dolphins,” says general counsel to PETA Jeffrey Kerr. “Depriving these highly intelligent social animals of all that’s natural to them causes them to chew on metal underwater gates and concrete, breaking their teeth out of sheer frustration and aggression.”
PETA also laid out plans – not only for those animals in captivity – but also for the company’s new shareholders.
“Our first order of business as part owners of SeaWorld?,” wrote Michelle Kretzer on the group’s blog. “Getting the orcas out—including Corky, who has been enslaved by SeaWorld for 44 years
“We will educate stockholders about how marine parks tear orcas and dolphins away from their homes and families and imprison them in minuscule concrete tanks, where they suffer from captivity-induced stress and illness.”