Allie Caulfield/FlickrSeaWorld changing dolphin shows, but says it’s not because of PETA John Gregory 02/06/2020 SeaWorld 1 Animal rights group PETA is claiming a victory over SeaWorld now that the theme park chain’s dolphin trainers will no longer ride on animals’ backs and mouths during performances. SeaWorld, however, counters that the decision wasn’t motivated by PETA. In a press release, PETA credits its activism for bringing an end to what it deems “dolphin surfing.” These efforts included having Alec Baldwin ask a question about the practice at the company’s annual online meeting last June. “Stopping trainers from treating dolphins like surfboards means less abuse at SeaWorld, but orcas and other dolphins continue to suffer in tiny concrete tanks,” PETA executive vice president Tracy Reiman said in a statement. “The company seems intent on being dragged, kicking and screaming, into ultimately releasing these animals to seaside sanctuaries. PETA is calling on it to put a plan in place now.” Orlando Rising asked SeaWorld Orlando’s parent company, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, what motivated the changes to the dolphin shows In a statement that it would only allow to be attributed to an unnamed “spokesperson,” SeaWorld told Orlando Rising that the decision was made solely by the company’s leadership, and denied that it was motivated in any way by animal rights activists. As illustrated by PETA’s statement, the theme park chain has long been engaged in a public relations battle with animal rights groups over its use of captive animals. PETA has organized boycotts and protests against SeaWorld Orlando in recent years, and the park has struck back by questioning PETA’s motives. When British Airways announced in August 2019 that it would no longer sell tickets to attractions that feature captive animals, then-SeaWorld CEO Gus Antorcha said groups like PETA “mislead and manipulate the truth to the detriment of our planet’s critically endangered animals.” “Pressuring companies and trying to shame them into cutting ties with independently accredited zoos and aquariums works against the vital research and conservation work to protect these animals,” Antorcha said at the time. RELATED STORIES: 5 biggest new theme park attractions coming to Central Florida in 2020 SeaWorld Orlando replacing killer whale show to start 2020 Disney gets a pass when companies cut ties with SeaWorld over animal welfare One Response Tamarac Rehab 02/07/2020 This is a real mockery of animals, I do not understand why these shows have not yet been banned. It’s like zoos, it’s a relic of the past. Animals are in terrible and cramped reservoirs, and someone else is doing so terribly and riding on the backs of dolphins as on surfing. It’s sad to hear, but I’m glad that it is finally banned. I hope they will ensure that the animals are in comfortable conditions. Have a nice day! Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.