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SeaWorld To End Practice Of Employees Posing As Animal Rights Activists

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SeaWorld has acknowledged that employees posed as animal activists and says it is ending the practice.

The company Thursday addressed allegations that an employee “infiltrated” the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, posing as a volunteer.

PETA accused an employee of SeaWorld San Diego, Paul McComb, of posing as an activist to spy on them. SeaWorld says McComb has returned from administrative leave and is working in a different job at the theme park.

President and Chief Executive Officer Joel Manby says the company’s board of directors issued the decision.

“They have directed management to end the practice in which certain employees posed as animal rights activists. This activity was undertaken in connection with efforts to maintain the safety and security of employees, customers and animals in the face of credible threats.”

Manby says the theme park company also retained a global risk management firm to ensure best practices.

PETA says the admission is a sign the company is trying to restore public confidence. SeaWorld has been the target of protests since an orca killed a trainer in 2010.