SeaWorld Whale Featured In 'Black Fish' Faces Deteriorating Health; Social Sentiment Extremely Negative
SeaWorld Entertainment Inc (NYSE: SEAS) has announced that the health of its popular orca Tilikum is “beginning to deteriorate.” According to data from TickerTags, the latest news is bad news for both Tilikum fans and SeaWorld shareholders.
Tilikum was the subject of the 2013 documentary "Black Fish," which questioned the safety and ethics of keeping killer whales in captivity. Tilikum has been linked to the death of three trainers, including trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010.
TickerTags monitors social media sites to identify trends by searching for words or phrases that occur together in social media content, such as tweets. According to the latest data, social media mentions of Tilikum have skyrocketed since news broke of the whale’s illness.
Social media mentions of SeaWorld regarding Tilikum have been overwhelmingly negative. TickerTags reports that the negative mentions outnumber the positive ones by about 16 to 1.
In the past three years, SeaWorld’s stock has plummeted 47.1 percent, while the company has continued to struggle with public perception of its treatment of animals. If Tilikum’s condition, from what SeaWorld says is an antibiotic-resistant bacterial lung infection, continues to deteriorate or if the whale dies, the company could face a tidal wave of negative publicity and additional downward pressure on its stock in coming weeks.
Disclosure: The author holds no position in the stocks mentioned.
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