The tide has turned against SeaWorld, and now the company is fighting back.
SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, still reeling from negative PR resulting from the 2013 documentary "Blackfish" and a subsequent (post-recession) drop in attendance, has released a video in which employees explain the "facts about our killer whales."
Two staffers point out that SeaWorld doesn't take orcas from the wild and that it hasn't in over three decades.
They also say that SeaWorld sets the "highest standard of care for marine mammals in the world," and that government research shows its whales live "just as long as those in the wild."
"They're thriving," one says.
"I wouldn't work here if they weren't," says the other.
The video came around the same time that SeaWorld released a cellphone video of John Hargrove, a former orca trainer and one of its critics, uttering racial expletives while apparently drunk, The New York Daily News reported.
It also came two weeks after an "#AskSeaWorld" Twitter campaign intended to educate the public ended up drawing a wave of criticism for the company.
Meanwhile in Canada, the government of Ontario has introduced legislation to stop the breeding and acquisition of killer whales in the province.
Marineland in Niagara Falls would not be allowed to take any more orcas or breed them if the legislation goes forward.
There are signs, however, that SeaWorld's business could be rebounding. The Street reported in February that company shares had gained 22 per cent in the previous three months, though they were down 40 per cent for the year.
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