Whale Mistreatment Charges Sink SeaWorld

SeaWorld Entertainment shares fell 33 percent on Wednesday, indicating that allegations of animal mistreatment are taking a financial toll. The company’s earnings failed to meet Wall Street’s expecations, reaching 43 cents per share, compared to the 60 cents analysts anticipated. Animal-rights activists have been hitting SeaWorld hard since Blackfish, a movie that accuses the park of mistreating orca whales, came out last year. For the first time, SeaWorld executives admitted that the bad publicity has hurt its bottom line, rather than attribute the drop to ticket price increases or holiday schedules as they have in the past. While SeaWorld grapples with its costly reputation, animal-rights activists are reveling in the company’s plunge. PETA’s Jared Goodman said “Anyone who cares about marine life and wants orcas and dolphins to live free with their pods is cheering the fact that SeaWorld’s stock is tanking.”