SeaWorld may have fallen just short of making it to this year’s Worst Company In America Final Death Match, but that defeat hasn’t stopped people who oppose the not-quite-a-zoo-not-quite-a-theme-park from letting the world know they think that SeaWorld, well… sucks.
That’s according to a road sign hanging over I-5 in Southern California.
Fox 5 San Diego reports that three men were spotted on Sunday afternoon parking a car on the shoulder, with one of them scaling the sign to slap the word “SUCKS” after “Sea World.”
The mismatched fonts and shades of green made the tacked-on word stand out, which was probably the point. The prank only lasted a few hours, with CalTrans tearing down the five-letter verb at some point Sunday night.
“This act of vandalism demonstrates that, once again, these extremists are more concerned with publicity stunts than actually helping animals,” a rep for SeaWorld San Diego said, presumably not realizing that he might have inadvertently suggested that protestors actively attempt to liberate the creatures at SeaWorld.
As we covered during SeaWorld’s inaugural run in the Worst Company tournament, a growing number of people are concerned about the park’s treatment of orca whales. The whales have been responsible or involved in a number of deaths at SeaWorld and elsewhere, bringing up questions both of animal rights and the safety of SeaWorld trainers.
In April, a federal appeals court shot down SeaWorld’s attempt to overturn an OSHA violation issued in the wake of the 2010 death of trainer Dawn Brancheau, who was pulled underwater and kept below the surface until she drowned by an orca named Tilikum, who had been involved in two previous fatalities.
“SeaWorld suggests that close contact with these whales was not a recognized hazard because all whales behave differently… But SeaWorld’s incident reports demonstrate that it recognized the danger its killer whales posed to trainers notwithstanding its protocols,” wrote the appeals court in its ruling.