Manby admitted the practice during a call with analysts, according to BuzzFeed News
“Our board of directors,” Manby says according to BuzzFeed
, “have directed management to end the practice in which certain employees pose as animal rights activists. 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.”
Last year, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, also known as PETA, said Paul McComb, a SeaWorld San Diego employee, used a fake name to sign up for the organization. The employee "repeatedly tried to incite animal advocates to act illegally," and told protestors to get aggressive, according to PETA.
The Associated Press
reports McComb was suspended last summer after PETA complained, but he's still employed by SeaWorld. The company will hire an outside firm to go over its security procedures, Manby says.
Seven months after animal rights activists accused a SeaWorld employee of posing as one of them to spy on their organization, SeaWorld Entertainment CEO Joel Manby says the company will no longer allow employees to impersonate activists.