SAN DIEGO (CBS Sacramento)– SeaWorld says it’s planning on launching a new attraction to boost attendance amid declining ticket sales and attacks from animal rights groups.

Los Angeles Times reports that SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. Chief Executive Joel Manby said Thursday that the company will invest in a new attraction at their San Diego park, in addition to spending heavily on media campaigns to fight critics’ negatives claims.

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“We can do a very effective attendance-driving, return-generating attraction, and I’m actually very excited about the alternatives we’re already coming up with,” Manby said.

Details regarding the attraction have not been revealed, but Manby said more information will be made public Monday. He did reveal that the project with be built partly by $100 million funding that was set aside for an expansion plan for its 11 killer whales.

“I want you to know there are many, many good things happening here,” Manby said.

The company has been struggling since the 2013 documentary “Blackfish” was released, which SeaWorld was accused of killer whale abuse and neglect.

Attendance among SeaWorld’s 11 parks dropped 4.2 percent during 2014, but only dropped 0.4 percent in the latest quarter.

The company also suffered last month when the California Coastal Commission approved expansion of orca enclosures, but only as long as the park ended its killer whale breeding program. SeaWorld says it plans to challenge the decision in court.

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals continues to target the park, saying that dropping attendance is an even stronger indication that the orca shows should be put to an end.

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“It’s as clear as the deep blue sea that SeaWorld’s only chance of competing in the 21st century is to do what PETA has long suggested and deep-six the circus-style orca shows in favor of coastal sanctuaries for orcas,” said Jared Goodman, PETA Foundation director of animal law, as reported by L.A. Times.

SeaWorld has put roughly $15 million toward campaigning against these claims and defending their practices and proper care of orcas.






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