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SeaWorld plans new killer whale environments

SeaWorld says it will build new, larger environments for killer whales at its theme parks, including SeaWorld San Diego, and will fund additional research on the animals along with programs to protect ocean health and whales in the wild.

Business for the Orlando, Fla., company has been hurt by negative publicity surrounding its treatment of killer whales.

SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. (NYSE: SEAS) will build a tank with 10 million gallons of water at its San Diego park, almost twice the size of the current tank. It says the new environment will be more stimulating for the whales. It will open to the public in 2018. SeaWorld has similar plans for its Orlando and San Antonio locations.

The company also pledged $10 million for killer whale research as well as a multimillion-dollar partnership focused on ocean health.

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