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SeaWorld Parks announces largest expansion ever

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SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment announced the largest expansion in the company’s 53-year history. The improvements include three new roller coasters, two new shows and the transformation of Orlando’s Kraken coaster into a virtual reality ride. “We are doubling down on our mission to create experiences that matter,” said Joel Manby, president and CEO of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, who made the announcement Tuesday at the IAAPA Attractions Expo at the Orange County Convention Center. SeaWorld is in the first year…

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Scientists bemoan SeaWorld decision to stop breeding orcas

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There’s one last orca birth to come at SeaWorld, and it will probably be the last chance for research biologist Dawn Noren to study up close how female killer whales pass toxins to their calves through their milk. While SeaWorld’s decision last month to end its orca breeding program delighted animal rights activists, it disappointed many marine scientists, who say they will gradually lose vital opportunities to learn things that could help killer whales in the wild. Noren got to…

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SeaWorld acknowledges planting worker in animal rights group

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SeaWorld acknowledged that it sent its own workers to infiltrate an animal rights group which opposed the practices of the theme park. The development comes months after People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals accused a SeaWorld employee of trying to incite violence while posing as a fellow animal rights activist. SeaWorld Entertainment CEO Joel Manby vowed Thursday to end the practice, but said that it had sent its employees to protect the safety of its employees and customers. “We…

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Judge dismisses lawsuit brought by SeaWorld patrons

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A federal judge in San Diego has dismissed a class-action lawsuit brought by SeaWorld patrons who claimed they were deceived about how the marine park treats orcas and wanted refunds. The federal judge last week said that the plaintiffs didn’t have standing to bring the lawsuit on behalf of patrons of SeaWorld parks in San Antonio, San Diego and Orlando. The plaintiffs claimed that hundreds of thousands of patrons wouldn’t have purchased tickets to SeaWorld parks if they knew how…

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SeaWorld to end orca shows by 2017 in San Diego

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The Latest from the announcement by SeaWorld that its orca shows at the company’s San Diego park will end by 2017. (all times local) A SeaWorld executive says orca shows at the company’s San Diego park will end by 2017. CEO Joel Manby cited customer feedback as the reason for the move in an anouncement Monday to investors. Manby said the park would offer a different kind of orca experience and focus on the animal’s natural setting and behaviors. The…

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SeaWorld spends more on lobbying in face of bad publicity

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SeaWorld’s spending on federal lobbying has surged in the face of bad publicity and calls for tougher restrictions on marine parks and aquariums. The Orlando-based company spent nearly a half-million dollars lobbying the federal government from January through June, records show, up 68 percent over the same period last year. Meantime, SeaWorld has also started aggressively lobbying at the state level in California, where lawmakers briefly considered a bill that would have banned killer whale shows and breeding. The company…

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