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SeaWorld, Southwest Airlines Ending Partnership

waveflyer

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ORLANDO, Fla. ? Southwest Airlines and SeaWorld Entertainment are ending their 25-year-old marketing partnership, officials with both companies said Thursday, as the airline has been urged by animal rights activists to terminate the relationship.

The partnership won't be renewed at the end of the year when the current contract expires. As part of the partnership, three Southwest airplanes had various SeaWorld animals painted on their bodies. Those planes will be painted over to Southwest's traditional look. SeaWorld also had Southwest signs in its parks, and Southwest offered vacation packages to SeaWorld, as it does to other tourist destinations. The vacation packages will continue.

SeaWorld officials said the decision was mutual.

SeaWorld wants to concentrate on growing markets in Latin America and Asia, the marine park company said in a statement.

"Southwest and SeaWorld have enjoyed their long relationship, and wish each other continued success," the statement said.

SeaWorld has parks in Orlando, Florida; San Antonio and San Diego.

Southwest spokeswoman Marilee McInnis said it was a business decision as the airline intends to focus on international service.

Earlier this year, animal rights activist held a rally and dropped off a petition at Southwest, urging the airline to end the relationship. The activists cited the documentary "Blackfish," which explores what may have caused the killer whale Tilikum to kill SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010.

The documentary argues that killer whales, when in captivity, become more aggressive to humans and each other. Since the documentary, several entertainers have pulled out of planned performances at SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. parks.

Regarding the pressure from the activists, McInnis said Southwest has been in "listening and education mode."

"We ... have engaged and heard from conservationists, SeaWorld supporters, and others on all sides of this issue," McInnis said.

The president of the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said in a statement that workers in her office were delighted to hear the partnership was ending.

"Champagne corks were popping at PETA today when we heard that Southwest will no longer support SeaWorld and will repaint its planes," said Ingrid Newkirk. "The second I heard the good news, I knew that I'd be booking my next trip on Southwest."
 

redflyer65

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Standby for the Climate Change Organization of America to come after us next..
 

PCL_128

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I always loved the paint job, but I'm glad SWA did the right thing and threw the animal abusers to the curb.
 

Nindiri

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With Shamu being removed from the paint job, there will be an opening for a replacement theme-jet. PCL, you could be famous. :)
 

Luv2BFlyin

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After reading this story we’ll be visiting sea world more often. Like most facilities of that caliber, the animals live better than in the wild, most have been rescued and would not survive in the wild. Peta also conveniently fails to mention all of the good in research, habitat development, education, etc. that sea world contributes to (like they also do when they fail to mention all of the animals euthanized under Peta's watch and at their direction).
 

brokedash

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PETA is disgusting. I'm glad Sea World provides the chance to observe large marine life that would otherwise be next to impossible.
 

crxpilot

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I am so tired of organizations like PETA trying to tell others how to act. If I was CEO of Southwest I woud have called a meeting with them and had a plethora of burgers and McFish sandwiches laid in front of them to snack on. Then I would tell them to stuff it.
 

J.Otto

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Like most facilities of that caliber, the animals live better than in the wild, most have been rescued and would not survive in the wild.

That is merely mans rationalization of this injustice.

The wild is where all animals have evolved to live in and belong to an ecological chain. For better or worse, the animal is most satisfied and content when it functions within its own natural environment, not some artificial one which poorly replicates it for the appeasement of human folly. Disturbing it sends a rippling effect of repercussions throughout the entire animal community. Man has tampered too much with the natural systematical order of things, causing havoc everywhere.

The natural habitat is where an animal is comfortable and most at home, not in some confined area where they're guaranteed a meal when made to perform. I'm sure you think the circus is a great place for an elephant as well. The treatment of elephants in a circus is a real travesty of animal life.
 

PCL_128

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Amen. Anyone who thinks otherwise really needs to watch Blackfish to see what really goes on at Seaworld.
 

Luv2BFlyin

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I've watched the trailer of this "documentary", which it really isn't, as I haven't found the whole movie on line yet. If it was a documentary, it would show both sides of the story.

For those that are interested, here's the other side:

http://seaworld.com/en/truth/truth-about-blackfish/?from=Top_Nav

http://seaworld.com/en/truth/letter/?from=Top_Nav

The videos are also interesting. Take the time to read the details of the 2010 tragedy, realize that the idea of taking calves from mothers is a fabrication, and the early footage is from 30-40 years ago and whales were taken from the wild under government regulation and hasn't been practiced since.
 

PCL_128

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The documentary is quite clear about that, actually, but that isn't the core of the problem. How they're treated in captivity is the problem.

The documentary is available on Netflix, so you must not have looked very hard.
 

waveflyer

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I get conflicted-

How many whales live now bc we don't have whale on the menu at sushi joints like japan does?
We don't bc we've LEARNED to love them and our kids love them, BECAUSE of zoos and sea worlds etc-

Kids absolutely love the sea world planes-

But that kind of captivity is no place for an orca- it would be like one of us living in a glass french hotel, (small) and never being able to leave
 

Luv2BFlyin

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There's a place in this world for all God's creatures, right next to the mashed potatoes. ;)

I wouldn't say that we're better than the Japanese simply because our culture has not developed a taste for whale. Our native Americans from the northwest are still fighting for their rights to hunt as they've done for centuries, but our culture finds that distasteful. Where is the tolerance and acceptance for other cultures and lifestyles?
 

J.Otto

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I've watched the trailer of this "documentary", which it really isn't, as I haven't found the whole movie on line yet. If it was a documentary, it would show both sides of the story.

For those that are interested, here's the other side:

http://seaworld.com/en/truth/truth-about-blackfish/?from=Top_Nav

http://seaworld.com/en/truth/letter/?from=Top_Nav

The videos are also interesting. Take the time to read the details of the 2010 tragedy, realize that the idea of taking calves from mothers is a fabrication, and the early footage is from 30-40 years ago and whales were taken from the wild under government regulation and hasn't been practiced since.

"The Cove" is also an excellent documentary... makes me really want to boycott anything Japanese.
 

redflyer65

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That is merely mans rationalization of this injustice.

The wild is where all animals have evolved to live in and belong to an ecological chain. For better or worse, the animal is most satisfied and content when it functions within its own natural environment, not some artificial one which poorly replicates it for the appeasement of human folly. Disturbing it sends a rippling effect of repercussions throughout the entire animal community. Man has tampered too much with the natural systematical order of things, causing havoc everywhere.

The natural habitat is where an animal is comfortable and most at home, not in some confined area where they're guaranteed a meal when made to perform. I'm sure you think the circus is a great place for an elephant as well. The treatment of elephants in a circus is a real travesty of animal life.


My eyes have been opened. I just opened the door and let my pets go. The man/animal world is now in harmony.

Maybe I should also just switch to being a complete vegan as well.
 

PCL_128

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Comparing an Orca to a pet like a housecat or dog is pure ignorance. Pets have been bred over tens of thousands of years to be domesticated animals that thrive on human companionship. Putting a Pomeranian in the wild would be just as cruel as putting an Orca in a tank. Orcas did not evolve to be human companions.
 

GlorifiedCabbie

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Doesn't PETA euthanize over 90% of it's rescued animals? And the last I checked, It still was the front organization for the Animal Liberation Front. A domestic terrorist organization.
 

PCL_128

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I don't support PETA, and I don't think the producers of Blackfish have any connection to them, either. PETA is a fringe group that doesn't speak for most animal lovers.
 

jonjuan

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Comparing an Orca to a pet like a housecat or dog is pure ignorance. Pets have been bred over tens of thousands of years to be domesticated animals that thrive on human companionship. Putting a Pomeranian in the wild would be just as cruel as putting an Orca in a tank. Orcas did not evolve to be human companions.

Does your kid have a fish tank or ant farm at home? Besides, do orcas in the wild get fed at meal time? Do they get their chins scratched on command? How many orcas in the wild die of hunger because they are too slow to catch dinner?
 
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