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SeaWorld to sue California regulators over orca breeding ban

(Bloomberg) -- SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. said it plans to sue the California Coastal Commission after the panel imposed a ban on whale breeding at the company’s San Diego theme park.

“As a regulatory board charged with managing coastal development and related land-use decisions, the Coastal Commission went way beyond its jurisdiction and authority when it banned breeding by killer whales at SeaWorld,” Chief Executive Officer Joel Manby said in a statement Thursday.

The Orlando, Florida-based theme park operator has come under fire from animal-rights activists who say that the company shouldn’t keep killer whales in captivity. SeaWorld said last year it planned to enlarge its orca tanks in California, Texas and Florida.

Last week, the Coastal Commission approved the planned $100 million San Diego project while including a ban on breeding the animals.

Officials with the commission didn’t have any immediate comment.

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