Petition urges Bindi Irwin to rethink SeaWorld support
BINDI Irwin is being urged to reconsider teaming up with US based theme parks being boycotted by other celebrities over their treatment of killer whales.
An online petition, hosted by change.org, has started with hundreds already starting to sign it.
Claudia Masters wrote: "I don't blame the young girl, but her mother should have better sense. How can she not know about Taiji and the cruelties of whale and dolphin captivity!
"Anyone who cares about the welfare of sea mammals would never collaborate with SeaWorld."
It comes after Bindi faced a social media storm on Twitter.
The 15-year-old, together with mother Terri and young brother Robert, announced on the top-rating US morning TV program, Good Morning America, she is teaming up with SeaWorld theme parks.
The Orlando-based group, which has no affiliation with the Gold Coast theme park of the same name, has been roundly criticised after the release of an award-winning documentary Blackfish, which highlighted the treatment of killer whales at Seaworld's theme parks.
Performers including Willie Nelson and The Beach Boys have boycotted SeaWorld as a result of the revelations.
"I'm so excited to be carrying on in Dad's footsteps and making sure that everything he worked so hard for continues for the generations to come," Bindi said in the announcement.
"That's why I'm thrilled to be empowering kids."
Bindi urged viewers to log into seaworldkids.com
"I'm thrilled to be partnered up with SeaWorld," Bindi said.
The announcement set off an avalanche of angry Twitter posts with critics accusing Bindi of selling out to the corporate world.
Some suggested she may need to put the skills she showed in the movie Free Willy to use.
One from Pat Fitzgerald read: "@BindiIrwin Have you seen #Blackfish? Please do not bring shame to your fathers name by colluding with #SeaWorld".
"As much as I love Bindi Irwin, she's an idiot for agreeing to be anything to do with Sea World,'' Jennna Gallacher posted, ending with the hashtag #AbusementParks.
Meg Stone tweeted: "I am appalled that Bindi Irwin is partnering w Sea World. Have you all not seen #Blackfish?"
SeaWorld has also spent A$78 million improving its killer-whale habitats in the past three years as well as taking out full page advertisements to counter the impact of the documentary.
But the young wildlife warrior is being urged to back out of the deal by many on Twitter.