Sonar has signed onto a letter by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) regarding Zhonghong Zhuoye Group’s agreement to purchase The Blackstone Group’s stake in SeaWorld.
While the captivity industry in North America has been dealt many blows in recent months – with SeaWorld pledging to end orca captivity last year; the Vancouver Aquarium committing to end their beluga display program by 2029; and numerous legislation in Canada and the US to end captivity – the industry has been booming in other places, including China. PETA’s letter urges the Zhonghong Zhuoye Group to acknowledge the significant, and mounting, public pressure on captive cetacean facilities and encourages them to invest in “innovative, exciting, state-of-the-art, non-animal attractions that more aware and compassionate people want these days.”
It remains to be seen what the outcome of this acquisition will bring. Hopefully, the public tide that is turning against cetacean captivity will compel the Zhonghong Zhuoye Group to invest in ethical entertainment. This would certainly be a good business move.