| ORLANDO, Fla.
ORLANDO, Fla. Feb 3 SeaWorld Entertainment Inc
is trying to block a shareholder vote requested by an
activist animal rights group on creating a coastal retirement
sanctuary for the theme park's killer whales, the group People
for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said on its website
SeaWorld did not immediately respond to requests for comment
on Monday evening.
PETA, which opposes the captivity of killer whales for
entertainment purposes, is proposing that the theme park begin
development of coastal sanctuaries where killer whales can be
rehabilitated and retired and seen by the public in their
PETA bought stock in SeaWorld when the company made its
initial public offering on April 19, 2013, announcing at the
time that it purchased the minimum number of shares needed to
attend and speak at annual meetings and to submit shareholder
SeaWorld is seeking to invoke a Securities and Exchange
Commission (SEC) rule that allows a company to exclude a
proposal made by a shareholder who has owned stock for less than
a year, PETA reported on its website.
PETA said it has sent a letter to the SEC asking the agency
to deny SeaWorld's attempt to keep its proposal from being heard
or voted upon.
PETA argued that SeaWorld is filing its proxy materials on
April 17, two days before the anniversary of its initial
offering, making it impossible to have owned stock for a full
PETA bought stock with changes for the whales in mind.
"Our first order of business as part owners of SeaWorld?
Getting the orcas out - including Corky, who has been enslaved
by SeaWorld for 44 years," wrote PETA blogger Michelle Kretzer
in a post on the day of the initial public offering.
Corky, who lives at SeaWorld San Diego and is believed to be
about 47 years old, is one of many killer whales who perform
under the name Shamu.
The rights group wrote on its website Monday that
sanctuaries would "go a long way toward mending SeaWorld's
battered image" particularly since the 2013 debut of the
documentary film "Blackfish" which raised questions about the
ethics of keeping intelligent creatures in captivity.
The 2013 documentary focuses on Tilikum, who killed trainer
Dawn Brancheau and led a federal administrative judge to order
the theme park to maintain barriers between trainers and the