Protesters want SeaWorld to "empty the tanks" - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Protesters want SeaWorld to "empty the tanks"

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In this Nov. 30, 2006, file photo, a young girl watches through the glass as a killer whale passes by while swimming in a display tank at SeaWorld, in San Diego. In this Nov. 30, 2006, file photo, a young girl watches through the glass as a killer whale passes by while swimming in a display tank at SeaWorld, in San Diego.

SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) – Dozens of rallies were held around the world Saturday, to call on SeaWorld to "empty the tanks."

Protesters demanded that SeaWorld ends its practice of holding killer whales in captivity at its theme parks.

Earlier this week, shares of SeaWorld Entertainment Corp. spiked Tuesday after the company announced a 15 percent jump in attendance during the first quarter. The company also reported a revenue increase of $30.8 million since the first quarter of 2017. 

Also this week, SeaWorld opened the much-anticipated Electric Eel, San Diego's tallest and fastest roller coaster.

In 2016 as part of its comeback plan, the company announced it would end orca breeding and changed its shows to emphasize education and natural behavior over flashy lights and loud music.

News 8 reached out to SeaWorld about the protests and SeaWorld gave this statement:

SeaWorld is home to an incredible collection of animals, including rescued animals that can no longer survive on their own. Some people believe these animals should be dumped into the wild, but we know they are not conditioned to survive if that happened. Our animal care specialists and zoo team are accredited, world renowned and are constantly seeking ways to innovate the care we provide these animals to help not only them, but also how to sustain and support species in the wild.

Saturday’s empty tank protest took place in over 22 countries, including South Africa, Mexico and China.

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