People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) claims SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. is trying to block a shareholder vote requested by the animal rights group regarding the creation of a coastal retirement sanctuary for the park’s killer whales.
The advocacy group is asking SeaWorld to develop coastal sanctuaries where the orcas can be rehabilitated and retired. The amusement park could charge admission to observe the creatures in a natural environment.
PETA states, “Developing such coastal sanctuaries would advance the welfare of the orcas who are cruelly confined to concrete tanks at SeaWorld theme parks and create a safe environment for trainers, which would go a long way toward mending SeaWorld’s battered image after receiving unrelenting negative publicity for years and especially since the debut of the documentary film”Blackfish.”
During SeaWorld’s initial public offering in April of last year, PETA purchased the minimum number of shares needed to attend and speak at annual meetings and to submit shareholder resolutions.
“Our first order of business as part owners of SeaWorld? Getting the orcas out – including Corky, who has been enslaved by SeaWorld for 44 years,” wrote PETA blogger Michelle Kretzer on the day of the IPO.
Corky, who calls SeaWorld San Diego “home,” is one of several killer whales who have performed under the name Shamu.
SeaWorld is now attempting to invoke an SEC rule that allows a company to exclude a proposal made by any shareholder who has owned stock in the company for less than a year.
In response, PETA has sent a letter to the commission asking them to deny SeaWorld’s attempt to bury the proposal.
The amusement park giant, which currently spends a paltry 0.0006% on orca rescue and rehabilitation, has yet to publicly comment on the matter.