SeaWorld CEO Joel Manby announced yesterday that the company would be eliminating 320 jobs across their properties. The aquatic park has been struggling to stay in business since the release of influential documentary Blackfish in 2013. Reports of animal abuse and neglect from a former SeaWorld employee, the deaths of several marine animals, and a conspiracy uncovered last year wherein a SeaWorld employee admitted to infiltrating animal-rights organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals with the intent to spy on their activist actions, have all led to dire consequences for the park. Within the last two years, SeaWorld has faced decreased attendance, plummeting stock prices, and legislation that prohibits the company to breed orcas. Manby explained that the job cut will be part of the park’s restructuring program—one that no longer uses whales as show performers—and stated, “It is an unfortunate, but necessary, consequence of the restructuring that some positions will be lost.” Financial analysts have advised shareholders to divest in the company while animal-activists urged SeaWorld to shut down for good.
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