SeaWorld is under federal investigation for statements made after 'Blackfish'

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PHOTO VIA SEAWORLD
  • Photo via SeaWorld
SeaWorld is under investigation by two federal agencies for comments that company executives made in response to Blackfish, a 2013 documentary that alleged the theme park was mistreating its orca whales.

Reuters reports SeaWorld said it was subpoenaed last Friday in an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission. The federal agencies are looking into "disclosures and public statements made by the company, certain executives and individuals on or before August 2014, including those regarding the impact of the ‘Blackfish’ documentary, and trading in the company’s securities."

The CNN documentary led to a massive amount of backlash against the theme park, and eventually led to SeaWorld declaring last year that it would stop breeding orca whales in captivity. On Aug. 13, 2014, SeaWorld shares dropped almost 33 percent, its largest one-day decline, according to MarketWatch.

SeaWorld says it has "cooperated with these government inquiries and intends to continue to cooperate with any government requests or inquiries."

Reuters reports Chairman David D'Alessandro will continue as the board's non-executive chairman until Dec. 31, despite being voted out at a shareholder meeting in June.

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