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It’s the first rule of business: Adapt or die. SeaWorld is refusing to pursue the first option, so the second seems inevitable.

In its second-quarter earnings statement, released today, SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc., reported an astounding 84 percent decline in earnings compared to a year ago. Among other reasons that seem more like excuses (such as the timing of the Easter holiday), SeaWorld blamed “brand challenges” for the decline. Well, yeah.

People don’t want to see orcas going insane in minuscule concrete tanks, they don’t want to see marine mammal families torn apart, and they don’t want to give their money to a company that tries to deceive them at every turn.

Orca tank at SeaWorld San Diego, 2011.

SeaWorld said that it had budgeted $15 million for brand repair and has already blown through much of it this past quarter. Clearly, it didn’t work.

This really isn’t that complicated. People don’t want to watch abused animals being forced to perform pointless circus tricks. SeaWorld can either retire the animals to coastal sanctuaries, where they can start the rehabilitation process, or continue refusing to evolve and put itself out of business.

Orca at SeaWorld

What You Can Do

SeaWorld’s proposed “Blue World Project” includes plans to build new tanks for orcas in an attempt to satiate the public and get them to start buying tickets again. But most people see this marketing ploy for what it is. Please contact the California Coastal Commission, tell it that a bigger prison cell is still a prison cell, and urge it to stymie SeaWorld’s plans to keep holding orcas captive in tanks.

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