PETA increases stake in troubled SeaWorld amid 'Blackfish' documentary backlash

Animal rights group buying discounted shares as it seeks to force release of killer whales

PETA has snapped up more shares of SeaWorld as it continues to build up its stake in the troubled marine theme park operator.

This is the second time in less than 10 days in which PETA buys shares in the company as it takes advantage of the recent decline in SeaWorld's stock price after it reported dismal second quarter earnings. PETA's stake is valued at approximately $2,900.

In a statement, the animal rights group said increasing its stake would allow it to take part in SeaWorld's annual general meeting, submit formal questions and propose shareholder resolutions as it continues its crusade against killer whale shows.

Back in June, actress Jessica Biel questioned SeaWorld's treatment of orcas in captivity on behalf of PETA, adding: "When will SeaWorld develop a plan to move the orcas to a sea pen in a natural setting in line with public opinion?"

The move, however, puzzled fellow animal rights activist Cher who was initially confused as to why PETA would buy the stock and took to Twitter to express her frustration, questioning PETA's intentions.

SeaWorld, which operates 11 theme parks across the United States, is facing intense scrutiny over its flagship killer whale shows following the release of the award-winning documentary "Blackfish", admitting the negative media attention is taking a toll on visitor numbers.

Video: 'Blackfish' trailer

The documentary, watched by more than 20 million people after it was broadcast on CNN in the US last year, explored the death of professional whale trainer Dawn Brancheau. The 40-year old was killed by a 12,000-pound orca known as Tilikum at SeaWorld Orlando in Florida in front of a terrified audience in 2010. ‘Blackfish’ argued that Tilikum's violent behaviour was the result of abuse and harassment at the theme park.

SeaWorld dismissed the documentary as "inaccurate and misleading" and recently announced plans to upgrade its whale tanks in three locations, including Sea World San Diego, Orlando and San Antonio, in what was described by PETA as a "desperate drop-in-the-bucket move" to appease investors and win back visitors.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Customer Relations Officer

£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join ...

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Recruitment Genius: Evening Administrator

£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established early...

Guru Careers: Executive Assistant / PA

£30 - 35k + Bonus & Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Executive Assist...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable