After announcing a partnership with SeaWorld, Bindi Irwin, the 15-year-old daughter of the late Australian wildlife personality Steve Irwin, is under fire following her appearance on ABC's "Good Morning America" on Thursday.
Irwin, who appeared on the show with her mother Terri and brother Robert, told host Robin Roberts that the SeaWorld partnership is an initiative aimed at kids called Generation Nature.
"[Generation Nature] is all about encouraging kids to get involved and be game-changers for wildlife in wild places," she said. "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."
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The announcement prompted a sharp rebuke from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) on Thursday.
"The Irwin family has been exploiting animals for years, so it comes as no surprise that Bindi has agreed to become SeaWorld's latest shill," the organization said in a statement. "But plastering her face on SeaWorld's website won't cover up the fact that orcas, dolphins, and other animals are suffering in SeaWorld's tiny tanks after being ripped from their families."
Others sounded off through social media and some even started an online petition against Irwin
The reputation of SeaWorld has been damaged since the release of the documentary "Blackfish" last year, which spotlighted the treatment of killer whales at its various theme parks. Since then, performers Willie Nelson, the Beach Boys, Martina McBride, Trace Adkins, and others have boycotted the parks.
Steve Irwin died in 2006 after being speared in the chest by a stingray barb as he was filming ocean shots for his daughter's TV show, "Bindi the Jungle Girl."
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