The Penguin Post has learned that PETA and other groups are none too happy that penguins were brought in by Seaworld to waddle on the floor of the NY stock exchange. A spokesman for PETA, which stands for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, said that the group purchased 80 shares in SeaWorld for more than $2,200 in last week’s IPO.
PETA officials believe this will allow them to attend shareholder meetings and introduce resolutions. It has previously battled the theme park company over breeding programmes at its sites in Florida, California and Texas. It is also calling for SeaWorld to release all the whales and dolphins it holds.
It has also emerged that PETA has written a letter to the New York Stock Exchange urging it to ban the use of exotic animals for promotional purposes. It comes after SeaWorld took penguins to Wall Street, where representatives rang the bell to start trading in their shares on Friday.
“It’s very stressful for exotic animals – who have specialized needs and are greatly affected by environmental changes – to be hauled around by companies like SeaWorld, just to be used as props,” Dan Mathews, senior vice-president at PETA, said in the letter. “Penguins, like all wild animals, shun contact with humans. Being forced into close public contact leaves them agitated and frightened.”
“Animals in captivity are already susceptible to illness, but putting them in a crowded, noisy environment just causes additional stress and increased potential for poor health. The New York Stock Exchange, as a respected institution, should not be condoning any display that involves transporting an animal from one location to another and using them as a photo prop.”