The Seaworld chain of theme parks is facing a new public relation crisis, after an investigation on the death of 17 penguins in its San Diego facilities on December 22, concluded that the birds committed a mass suicide.
While arriving at work in the morning, Seaworld employees found 17 dead penguins and 12 other severely injured ones, at the foot of a 30-foot high wall. An independent investigation was ordered to determine the cause of these mysterious deaths, and the experts have made their conclusions public yesterday.
According to the 26-page report, the penguins suffered from severe depression, caused by their “inhumane living conditions”. The marine biologists and veterinarian pathologists concluded that the penguins had chosen to commit suicide “in order to put an end to their pain and suffering”.
The corporate curator for Zoological Operations at all SeaWorld Parks, Chuck Tompkins, met reporters this morning to react to report, which he called a “deceitful and biased piece of shit”.
“The living conditions of all penguins in our marine parks are absolutely exemplary,” said Mr Tompkins. “They are well-fed and have a large enclosure with a pool and everything… Anyways, let’s be honest, penguins are like chicken, they’re not smart enough to be suicidal! These so-called experts are clearly animal right extremists who want to close all zoos and marine parks.”
This new incident occurs at a really bad moment for Seaworld, which is already struggling to maintain a positive public image.
The corporation has been in the crosshairs of animal rights activists and has experienced a drop in revenue since the release of the documentary Blackfish, in 2013. The movie chronicled the case of Tilikum, a killer whale that caused the death of trainer Dawn Brancheau, in 2010.
Three of Seaworld’s famous orcas have also died over the last six months, and all of them were still very young, considering their 100-year life expectancy. The last to date is 18-year-old Unna, who died from a rare fungal infection last week, causing reactions from many animal rights organizations.