Theme park operator SeaWorld has come clean, admitting it entered the murky world of espionage to keep tabs on animal rights activists.
SeaWorld CEO Joel Manby has publicly acknowledged that employees posed as activists to infiltrate and spy on the activities of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
But Manby wasn’t offering any apologies. "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," he said.
Manby said the company started an internal investigation when PETA made spying allegations last year.
"We recognize the need to ensure that all of our security and other activities align with our core values and ethical standards."
Those allegations centered on the role of SeaWorld employee Paul McComb, who, under a false name, had incited PETA members to break the law with calls to take 'direct action.'
PETA’s response to Manby’s admission?
"The tawdry orca sideshows and despicable spying tactics are sinking SeaWorld's ship," a PETA statement said.