PETA Uncovers An Alleged SeaWorld Employee Who Worked Undercover For Years As Activist

220px-SeaWorldORL08-04-01a220px-Seaworld_logo.svgThere is an interesting intrigue building of an employee suspected of being an undercover agent observing and recording events in the animal rights area. What is different is that the agent was not allegedly working for animal activists but SeaWorld. The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has identified a man that it says was a SeaWorld employee who took part in the group’s activities under the name of Thomas Jones. They say that he is actually Paul McComb, 28, who has held various jobs for SeaWorld including work as a human resources representative. SeaWorld has now put McComb on paid administrative leave pending findings of the investigation..

It is hard to believe that no one at SeaWorld was aware of McComb’s work which reportedly went on for years. PETA said that he even protested a SeaWorld float at New York’s Thanksgiving Day parade in 2013, held anti-SeaWorld signs outside the company’s San Diego theme park, and was arrested by police at the 2014 Rose Parade in Pasadena, California.

Animal rights groups have been repeatedly sued and denounced by circuses and SeaWorld for their use of undercover agents to photograph what the group says are abusive practices in the treatment of animals.

The group reported how “Jones” used social media to probe other activists for information like “What is the big surprise for the upcoming protest. Are we going up the gates or something?” He presented the image of an ardent activist, calling on his fellow activists to “Grab your pitch forks and torches. Time to take down SeaWorld.”

Before arrested with “Jones” say that he is the same man as McComb.

The timing could not be worse for SeaWorld. People are increasingly agreeing with critics that it is cruel to keep killer whales and other animals in these closed areas for entertainment. (For the record, I served as counsel in a case challenging the effort of aquariums to acquire whales for display). Attendance is down and companies like Southwest Airlines Co. have ended marketing relationships.

Recently, the company dumped its CEO and hired Joel Manby, who ran the Dollywood park and the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team. It also launched a huge media campaign to say how much they loved these animals.

PETA discovered the connection when it was running license plates from a protest. Then it grew suspicious when Jones gave two addresses when registering with the group. One is on a street in Jamul, California, that doesn’t exist. There is such a street in El Cajon, where McComb lives. Jamul, where he lived previously, is nearby the El Cajon address.

Seaward did note the irony of PETA objecting to an undercover agent by posting a link to a Peta job posting for an undercover investigator.

Source: Bloomberg

35 thoughts on “PETA Uncovers An Alleged SeaWorld Employee Who Worked Undercover For Years As Activist”

  1. Aridog – I should send you a photo of the coyote den next door to my house that they use every spring. It should be empty now for me to sneak over there and take photos. We just saw the male rather close while he was hunting rabbits 2 days ago. He looks bigger than my biggest dog, which is 68 lbs.

    One of these days I would love to mount a wildlife camera, but don’t know if those need access to the internet to retrieve the videos. Which, Lord knows, I always complain about with my satellite internet access.

  2. Aridog:

    When you’ve seen wolves in captivity, they weren’t pacing? Or were you talking about wolves in the wild? I’ve seen a lot of wolves, as well as wolf hybrids, and they were always pacing all the time when in captivity. They only stopped for naps. It’s never like the lion enclosure where they’re always relaxed.

    I’ve known some friendly wolf hybrids, and some not so. They all had an overwhelming desire to roam. Every time my friend’s hybrid broke his chain, he would head to the hills. We always caught him, though. Besides the zoos, I know a wolf hybrid rescue, where they all paced, too. She also is licensed to have full blooded wolves, too. They are so beautiful.

    There was another wolf hybrid pair that broke out of their run, where they paced all day long, and killed my friend’s pony miles from home. Those were really big, I think 3/4 crosses.

    Wolves are some of my favorite animals, and are much happier in the wild than in captivity. I think it would take acres of natural habitat to make them relaxed and content, never a small fenced enclosure. I should have stuck with one of my early dreams of studying wolves in Alaska. Sigh.

  3. Tyger Gilbert says it best at 10:23 AM today.

    I’ve alwsy been discomforted by wild animals in captivity, however, I also know much more than I ever would have without those experiences. Captive wolves do much better than reprsented here, and I’ve seen them up close in captivity, as well as within a couple feet in the wild. They’re social and approach man with suspicion not animosity, and just seeing them can teach us all a lot…far better than the irrational wonton killing of their species advocated by many people. Too many. My dogs are wolves in their pedigree history, even cited by “Blue Wilderness” dog food advertisments. I’m perhaps an oddball but I truly believe wolves domesticatred us, to become dogs, not the other way around. It is an erie sensation to be very close to a free and wild wolve pair…one I can never forget. I keep a photo of the Druid Pack (Yellowstone, Lamar Valley) patroling in line on our wall to remind me of their day in the sun…and it saddens me that mange, not man, killed them all off. Nature can be brutal. I’ve dealt with mange in a great dog and there is no way to do the same with a wild wolf. Once gone, the Druids were replaced by another pack and carries on with the valley culture…one where wolves belong…and have dramatically improved the environment for the ungulates. We should be so skilled.

  4. Lisa N. – How, exactly, does the treatment of animals relate to a pregnant woman’s right to private decisions affecting her body?

    If you believe your view is bible-based, please note that your eternal, omnipotent, omnipresent god is COMPLETELY silent on this issue, even though he knew it would be coming soon (i.e., a thousand years is as a day). Also, that book teaches that human life did not begin after the first breath, which is not possible in the womb.

  5. Throw the Sea World owners in with the Killer Whales. Send the bodies or remains, if any, to New South Wales.

  6. More on Killer Whale culture, which is behaviors learned from others in their social groups:

    http://phys.org/news/2010-03-smart-killer-whales-orcas-2nd-biggest.html

    There has never been any evidence that any killer whale has killed a human being in the while. Of course, they do live in really cold water, so I do not know how much opportunity they have had. But several people have been killed by Sea World whales.

    They can recognize a Chinook salmon from other salmon from half a football field away, but Sea World keeps them in sterile tanks because they are easy to clean.

  7. PETA cannot condemn Sea World for tactics they use themselves. But they can fire him and investigate what he was up to.

    I personally oppose keeping killer whales at aquariums like Sea World for many reasons. The animals best suited for small enclosures at zoos are those without an innate instinct to roam or migrate. That is why every wolf I have ever seen at a zoo, rehabilitator, or other facility was pacing the entire time. Killer Whales “see” their world via echo location sensitive enough to determine intricate, tiny details. A killer whale living at Sea World is like an ape living in a barren, tiny, concrete cell at those old fashioned zoos. It’s sensory deprivation that a few toys and tricks does not alleviate. Killer whales have a matriarchal society so intense that males stay with their moms for their entire lives. They do not live as long as females because they most often die soon after their moms die. There is zero aggression or violence observed in the pods. To blow off steam, the males will take short “road trips” away from their mommas to rough house with each other, although there are no injuries. Their mothers even bring them to other pods to introduce them to potential mates. The other pods will not accept males without their female family members. The males will take up to 3 days to spend mating and then they go back home to mom. Years ago, when they caught wild whales (by harpooning them or netting them), their pod would follow the boats, calling frantically for them, until they were left behind.

    There are 3 subspecies of killer whales, residents, transients, and offshore. All of these have very different behaviors. Residents are matriarchal salmon specialists. Transients are mammal specialists with a looser matriarchal structure. Little is known about offshore.

    Sea World randomly interbreeds all 3 subspecies, feeds them all fish regardless of their natural diet, and they have broken up each and every single one of their family line. They send the calves out for national “Shamu” shows, separate them from their mothers extremely early, and breed them early.

    The log of aggression and violence against trainers is shockingly large, including every single whale in the park. This may not be surprising, however, if you consider that even resident killer whales like to play with sea lions, drowning and shredding them, for fun. In addition, you have frustrated, lonely adult killer whales in a really boring sensory deprived environment. In addition, they lock up the adults in a tiny tank at night. Since they are not in their normal matrilineal society, the females kick the butts of the males all night long. That is also verifiable via their logs of injuries to the whales. They also suffer from being kept in water far warmer than they evolved to live in, and their dorsal fins flop over because they spend an unnatural amount of time at the surface of the water in captivity, without water supporting the weight of their fin. Most are also on medications and have rotting teeth.

    I would only support keeping injured whales or those extremely rare specimens who cannot live in the while in sea pens where they have natural sea water, an interesting topography, and can see and hear sea life and catch live fish.

    http://wildwhales.org/killer-whale/

    http://www.rockisland.com/~orcasurv/changing.htm

  8. If PETA can infiltrate Sea World, the reverse works for Sea World. NO laws were broken, so much of what PETA protests is absurd.

  9. I can see why one wouldn’t condemn SeaWorld if he or she wouldn’t condemn Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Tenet, Goss, and Mueller for abuse at Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, and other sites. Jus’ bidness.

    Honestly, putting an Orca in a swimming pool is like putting a Bald Eagle in a canary cage. Jus’ bidness.

    As for infiltration by animal activists, what the government can do individuals can’t? Jus’ bidness.

  10. The insanity of Humanity shows up in the way they treat each other as well as how they treat other species. Having displays of animals in a natural-like habitat and presenting shows with animals performing acts that demonstrate their abilities and behavior traits helps educate people to what animals are really all about and helps to instill empathy for them. This not only makes ordinary individuals more inclined to treat animals better but gives them more respect for the environment in which the animals and humans live. People are less inclined to let big corporate interests destroy the environment with oil drilling, mining, deforestation, and other activities that only result in large profits for the companies while devastating the world everyone lives in forever. As for the animals in zoos, wild animal parks, aquariums, and animal shows, they get treated well, enjoy plenty of nutritious food they don’t have to hunt for, have medical care, usually have mates or other companions, and are free of predators wanting to kill and eat them. For life. And many of them live a long time. It’s a much better existence than living in the wild, which is constantly shrinking and being destroyed and deteriorated by humans. I’ve often thought I would have gone for such a deal if it were ever offered to me.

  11. This guy seemed to be one step away from sabotage. Was he fired before the protests?
    Chief: how long do they live verses the ones in the wild?

  12. PETA loves animals the way Planned Parenthood loves children.

    Huffington Post: Shocking Photos: PETA’s Secret Slaughter of Kittens, Puppies

    “Yet approximately 2,000 animals pass through PETA’s front door every year and very few make it out alive. The vast majority — 96 percent in 2011 — exit the facility out the back door after they have been killed, when Pet Cremation Services of Tidewater stops by on their regular visits to pick up their remains. Between these visits, the bodies are stored in the giant walk-in freezer PETA installed for this very purpose.”

    And I love PETA.

  13. Where’s the group, for the ethical treatment of fetuses? These nuts care more about how animals are treated than a 17 week gestated baby. What’s happened to mankind, their becoming mankill.

  14. News recently (the Trump presidential announcement audience) indicates that large group gatherings today may have more infiltrators, paid actors, than serious advocates. That could also be true of responses to online advocacy solicitations. What does that say about public participation, the right to assemble, the right to have grievances addressed, democracy generally?

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