SeaWorld faces major public relations challenge

10:28 AM, Feb 26, 2010   |    comments
Killer whales jump in this file image from SeaWorld Orlando.
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ORLANDO, Florida (AP) -- SeaWorld is facing one of the toughest challenges an amusement park company can face: the very public death of one of its employees.

PICTURES: Killer whale immediately after SeaWorld trainer attack

In the wake of the killing of Orlando trainer Dawn Brancheau by a killer whale, marketing experts say the company must reassure visitors its parks are safe. It cannot pretend things are business as usual.

Crisis manager Larry L. Smith said the company seems to be on the right path. He said SeaWorld hasn't overreacted or ducked the media.

Tourist Denise DeVore from Beacon, N.Y., said her 3-year-old daughter loved their visit to SeaWorld the day after the accident. For herself, DeVore isn't concerned about the park being dangerous but says she has mixed emotions about animals in captivity.

Poll: Should wild animals like killer whales be in captivity? 

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