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SeaWorld to Send Zoologist to Branson-Led Whale Summit

SeaWorld Entertainment Inc., taking on critics of its killer-whale shows, will send a senior member of its zoological staff to a conference on animal-related tourism organized by billionaire Richard Branson.

The Virgin Group Ltd. founder drew complaints this year from animal rights activists because his travel agency was selling tour packages with trips to SeaWorld and other parks where whales and dolphins perform. In February, Branson said his company wouldn’t work with any organization that takes animals from the sea and promised to lead a six-month “engagement process” on the issue.