SeaWorld trainers will no longer ride dolphins

Local News

(CNN) — SeaWorld says trainers will no longer surf on the backs of Bottlenose dolphins and stand on their snouts in their theme park shows.

The move follows nearly a year of pressure from PETA, but the theme park chain says the decision had nothing to do with the nonprofit. SeaWorld called PETA a group of “ill-formed activists.”

Instead, SeaWorld said it is “continually evolving its animal presentations for both guests and their animals.” SeaWorld also insists the practices are not harmful to dolphins.

PETA is claiming victory and said “stopping trainers from treating dolphins like surfboards means less abuse at SeaWorld.”

Meanwhile, SeaWorld has reached a $65 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit filed by investors in 2014.

It followed revelations on the treatment of Orca whales in the documentary, “Blackfish.”

The suit claimed SeaWorld misled investors by not disclosing mistreatment. SeaWorld said in court documents the settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing.

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