via Associated Press
Stung by criticism of its treatment of killer whales, SeaWorld said Friday that it will build new, larger environments at its theme parks and will fund additional research on the animals along with programs to protect ocean health and whales in the wild.
The company's shares, which are trading near their lowest point since the company listed its stock on public markets last year, rose slightly on the news. But it remains to be seen if the renovations will fully address concerns about keeping large marine mammals in captivity.
The 2013 documentary "Blackfish" suggested that captivity and SeaWorld's treatment of the whales provokes violent behavior, which in turn has led to the death of trainers. Since the release of the movie, a series of entertainers have pulled out of planned performances at SeaWorld parks. SeaWorld also recently said its longtime corporate partnership with Southwest Airlines is ending, and on Wednesday the company reported disappointing second-quarter financial results because of the backlash.