SeaWorld Slashes Hundreds Of Jobs In Desperate Bid To Stay Afloat

<p><a class="checked-link" href="">Flickr/dougbonhaus/(CC BY 2.0)</a></p>

SeaWorld's downward spiral continues with the sullied brand's announcement Friday that it is laying off hundreds of workers.

As anger rises over the company's treatment of orcas in captivity, layoffs are taking place across its 11 parks and corporate headquarters, according to The Orlando Sentinel.

More than 300 of the 4,500 full-time and 7,300 part-time employees will be laid off as part of a restructuring plan. An earlier press statement reported that those affected will be offered severance benefits.

The layoffs come on the heels of an announcement that CEO Jim Atchison is stepping down.

Atchison addressed the coming layoffs at that time, remarking, "In order to achieve the goals of our business realignment, we regret that some positions will necessarily be eliminated." He added this would help "position us for long term growth."

SeaWorld's stock hit an all-time low on Wednesday in the wake of a new lawsuit, poor attendance, fleeing corporate sponsors and continued fallout from the damning documentary "Blackfish." The company has faced repeated accusations of both mistreating orcas and placing trainers in unsafe conditions.

"SeaWorld needs to break out of the rut it's in and go in a new direction that de-emphasizes and even eliminates the animal shows," marine mammal scientist Naomi Rose, Ph.D., previously suggested to The Dodo. Despite growing setbacks, the company has yet to show it will move in this pro-animal direction.

SeaWorld did not immediately respond to The Dodo's request for comment.