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SeaWorld To End Practice Of Employees Posing As Animal Rights Activists

SeaWorld petitioned that its value be assessed at $10 million less than the Orange County Property Appraiser's assessment. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

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SeaWorld has acknowledged that employees posed as animal activists and says it is ending the practice.

The company Thursday addressed allegations that an employee “infiltrated” the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, posing as a volunteer.

PETA accused an employee of SeaWorld San Diego, Paul McComb, of posing as an activist to spy on them. SeaWorld says McComb has returned from administrative leave and is working in a different job at the theme park.

President and Chief Executive Officer Joel Manby says the company’s board of directors issued the decision.

“They have directed management to end the practice in which certain employees posed as animal rights activists. This activity was undertaken in connection with efforts to maintain the safety and security of employees, customers and animals in the face of credible threats.”

Manby says the theme park company also retained a global risk management firm to ensure best practices.

PETA says the admission is a sign the company is trying to restore public confidence. SeaWorld has been the target of protests since an orca killed a trainer in 2010.

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Amy Green

About Amy Green

Reporter and Producer

Amy Green covers the environment for WMFE News. She is an award-winning journalist whose extensive reporting on the Everglades is featured in the book MOVING WATER, published by Johns Hopkins University Press, and podcast DRAINED, available wherever you get your podcasts. Amy’s work has been heard on NPR and ... Read Full Bio »