Bindi Irwin is facing a backlash in the US after entering one
of America's most heated public relations battles.
The 15-year-old, alongside mother Terri and brother Robert,
announced during an appearance on the top-rating US morning
TV programme, Good Morning America, yesterday she is teaming
up with SeaWorld theme parks.
Orlando-based SeaWorld Entertainment Inc has been pounded by
bad press, protests and boycotts by performers including
Willie Nelson and The Beach Boys the past year after the
release of the award-winning film documentary Blackfish,
which probes the treatment of killer whales at the company's
"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, speaking of her father
Steve "The Crocodile Hunter" Irwin, who died in 2006 from a
stingray barb, said.
"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.
"Thrilled to be part of this new project Generation Nature
and just encouraging kids to change the world."
The announcement set off an avalanche of angry Twitter posts,
with one opponent, Amanda Holliday, Tweeting: "How much do
you think #SeaWorld had to pay Bindi Irwin to try to fix
Another from Pat Fitzgerald read: "@BindiIrwin Have you seen
#Blackfish? Please do not bring shame to your fathers name by
colluding with #SeaWorld".
SeaWorld has launched an aggressive online and media campaign
against the Blackfish documentary, including placing
full-page ads in America's biggest-selling newspapers titled:
"Open Letter from SeaWorld's Animal Advocates.
SeaWorld has also spent $US70 million ($A78 million)
improving its killer-whale habitats the past three years.
SeaWorld, unrelated to the Queensland, Gold Coast, theme park
Sea World, has parks in San Diego, Orlando and San Antonio.