Updated: April 6, 2020
Ex–SeaWorld CEO Gustavo Antorcha called it quits after just seven months. His successor, Serge Rivera, lasted less time than that—it was announced today that he resigned after five months on the job, citing clashes with the company’s board as the reason for his departure. But as yet another SeaWorld CEO flees the sinking ship, we’re welcoming the company’s CFO, Marc Swanson, back into his role as interim CEO with a generous proposition: $250,000 to do right by dolphins, whales, and other animals at long last.
This is SeaWorld’s moment to do the right thing and win back hundreds of thousands of families who don’t want to see marine mammals trapped in cramped tanks.
Swanson is inheriting an operation from which more than 90% of employees are furloughed, and the company’s parks are shut down because of the coronavirus crisis. So we hope he’ll earnestly consider our offer. In exchange for a quarter of a million dollars to build a seaside sanctuary, SeaWorld must agree to release the whales, orcas, and other dolphins currently being denied any semblance of happiness or a natural life.
We’d gladly pay up to get the ball rolling on a seaside sanctuary where these tortured animals could finally dive deep and feel the ocean currents.
Click below to urge companies to stop promoting SeaWorld until the abusement park does the right thing:
Updated: September 17, 2019
Another one bites the dust. This time, it was SeaWorld CEO Gustavo Antorcha, who abruptly resigned from his position with the abusement park late on Monday. He’s the third CEO to jump ship since the 2013 release of Blackfish, which pieced together the emotional story of Tilikum the orca and spotlighted the problems with marine parks like SeaWorld.
BREAKING: Another one bites the dust! #SeaWorld CEO Gustavo Antorcha is now the third CEO to leave since the release of #Blackfish.
Just last month, PETA called for SEC investigation after Antorcha misled investors over the mistreatment of dolphins. https://t.co/4qWh6THbi5
— PETA (@peta) September 17, 2019
The news comes less than one month after we called for a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation after SeaWorld misled investors over the mistreatment of dolphins during the company’s annual meeting in June. Antorcha, still CEO at the time, desperately tried to gloss over the suffering of dolphins who are packed into cramped tanks and forced to perform circus-style tricks at its parks.
Stop standing on dolphins' faces.
— PETA (@peta) June 15, 2019
News of Antorcha’s resignation also coincided with approximately 100 SeaWorld employees being laid off on Monday. “I got a call from human resources, and they said that effective immediately, I no longer had a position there,” one former employee reportedly said.
Antorcha’s departure forces SeaWorld to search for its fourth CEO in five years, and we have an important message for him or her: In order to be truly successful and no longer regarded as the exploitative attraction that it is, SeaWorld must end all animal acts and release the animals it holds captive into seaside sanctuaries.
Click above to urge SeaWorld to do the right thing.
Originally posted on February 27, 2018:
SeaWorld’s end-of-year earnings report is in, and Joel Manby is out. The abusement park’s CEO is leaving the company after being hired in May 2015. His departure was announced today, along with the report, which showed declines in attendance and total revenue. In the past year, the park has incurred a net loss of $202.4 million and a decrease in visitors of 1.2 million (5.5 percent).
Will SeaWorld's attendance improve after steady decline? https://t.co/78zoQvGofo pic.twitter.com/TW2WGyEJCd
— Orlando Sentinel (@orlandosentinel) February 27, 2018
And it’s no wonder why. Manby was a disaster: tone-deaf to public opinion and stone-hearted toward the animals held in archaic tanks at the park.
#SeaWorld CEO Joel Manby is criticizing activists for speaking out against breeding orcas in captivity. https://t.co/tLuNBVKLVs
— PETA (@peta) January 9, 2018
Any new CEO who wants to find a way out of the marine park’s financial misery must give orcas their freedom.
Let the orcas go! PETA supporters had a loud message for #SeaWorld CEO Joel Manby at the #WorkAsWorship retreat. #WAWR2018 pic.twitter.com/tgduLgRGhS
— PETA (@peta) February 23, 2018
The company is facing a class-action lawsuit by investors and a consumer-protection lawsuit by visitors as well as a criminal fraud investigation. It tries to ignore mounting public pressure to change its ways while its earnings continue to plummet and the animals who are miserable in its custody—including Malia, a 10-year-old orca showing signs of infection, which killed her sister (Unna), her father (Tilikum), and the matriarch orca Kasatka—remain trapped inside tiny tanks.
Orca Malia has an infection causing lesions on her skin, most likely worsened by stress from captivity More than HALF of all orca deaths at #SeaWorld are caused by infections. https://t.co/C30m4py2eW #EmptyTheTanks
— PETA (@peta) January 28, 2018
PETA has filed a resolution calling on SeaWorld to end all its breeding programs and has offered the floundering abusement park a way to boost its dismal numbers: Start working to release the orcas into seaside sanctuaries and stop imprisoning animals altogether.
People don’t support keeping sentient animals in captivity! PETA submits shareholder resolution & calls on #SeaWorld to save itself by ending ALL animal breeding. https://t.co/9F5ZIRgBBL
— PETA (@peta) December 20, 2017
Kind people everywhere have spoken out: Real change is the company’s only hope of staying afloat. You, too, can take action for the animals imprisoned at SeaWorld.
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Tell SeaWorld to Empty Its Tanks
In addition to boycotting the parks, click the button below to ask the company to end all animal acts and release the animals it holds captive into seaside sanctuaries: