Theme park operator says criticism over SeaWorld's treatment of orcas is hurting earnings
SeaWorld’s revenues are dropping amidst criticism of its treatment of captive orcas.
The owners of three aquatic-themed parks as well as two Busch Gardens, SeaWorld Entertainment said Wednesday that its full-year revenue in 2014 was expected to fall by 6% to 7%. The company’s stock dropped nearly 30% Wednesday morning.
The decline, SeaWorld said, was due in part to negative reports about its treatment of orcas. Two U.S. House representatives from California are proposing a federal study on how large marine animals fare in captivity, citing “serious concerns about the psychological and physical harm” to orcas in captivity, the Wall Street Journal reports.
“The company believes attendance in the quarter was impacted by demand pressures related to recent media attention surrounding proposed legislation in the state of California,” SeaWorld said in a statement.
SeaWorld’s revenue for the second quarter of 2014 was $405.2 million, down from $411.3 million in the same period last year.
SeaWorld has long held that the welfare of its animals are a top priority.