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SeaWorld admits employees spied on animal activists

Trainers have Orca killer whales perform for the crowd during a show at the animal theme park SeaWorld in San Diego. (File photo).
Mike Blake | Reuters
Trainers have Orca killer whales perform for the crowd during a show at the animal theme park SeaWorld in San Diego. (File photo).

SeaWorld employees posed as animal rights activists in an attempt to spy on the company's opposition, the marine park's CEO said during an earnings call Thursday, according an Orlando Sentinel article.

Six months ago, animal rights organization People for Ethical Treatment of Animals accused a SeaWorld employee of infiltrating it as a mole.

In a statement provided to CNBC, SeaWorld said it had decided to end the spying.

"We recognize the need to ensure that all of our security and other activities align with our core values and ethical standards," Joel Manby, CEO of SeaWorld, said in the statement. "As always, the security and well-being of our employees, customers and animals remain at the forefront of our business practices."

The company also said Paul McComb, the employee who PETA accused of acting as a spy, remains on SeaWorld's staff.

In its statement on Thursday, SeaWorld said its employees posed as animal rights activists to try to "maintain the safety and security of company employees, customers, and animals in the face of credible threats that the company had received."

Read more about SeaWorld in the Orlando Sentinel.