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SeaWorld Tanks; CEO Partly Blames Animal Rights For Q2 Miss

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SeaWorld Entertainment (NYSE: SEAS) said a proposal in to ban killer whale captivity in California drove hurt its second-quarter performance by driving away customers.

Earlier, the theme park company posted a 1.5 percent revenue decline, along with earnings that missed Wall Street expectations by 26 percent.

SeaWorld sank more than 34 percent Wednesday, trading recently at $18.47 per share.

California Assemblyman Richard Bloom, a Democrat from Santa Monica, in March proposed the phase-out of killer whale, or orca, captivity in California.

Earlier this month, Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) ended a long-term marketing deal with SeaWorld after some 30,000 people petitioned the airline.

Southwest called its action a result of "shifting priorities." SeaWorld's practice of capturing wild orca whales has had the company increasingly on the hot seat.

"There is no justification for the continued captive display of orcas for entertainment purposes," Assemblyman Bloom said in unveiling proposed legislation.

SeaWorld was fined by OSHA in 2010 for endangering its employees in the wake of a 2010 fatal whale attack on a trainer.

The critically-acclaimed film "Blackfish" released last year put SeaWorld in a negative light. Since 2000, there have been at least nine similar attacks by captive whales, including two fatalities.

 

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