Bindi Irwin may only be 15 years old, but she's already causing a lot of controversy. The late Steve Irwin's daughter was working as a conservationist at the Australia Zoo, which nobody really seemed to have a problem with, but when she announced last week that she'd partnered with SeaWorld, she suddenly became Enemy No. 1 of a lot of animal activists.
This one might be chalked up to poor timing, or it might have been inevitable, but the recent documentary Blackfish brought a lot of extra attention to the situation at SeaWorld and brought even more people on board with the Free Willy feeling.
In a statement, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) spoke out against the teenagers new partnership, saying, "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...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."
"What millions have realized -- through PETA's massive campaign and the hit documentary Blackfish -- is that SeaWorld is no place for anyone who truly cares about animals," they continued.
Fortunately, Bindi has her family to support her. Her mom is standing by her and her Grandfather (Steve's father) Bob Irwin has issued a statement...oh wait, he's on team orca.
"My personal stance is that any organisation that keeps animals in captivity that does not consider and provide for that animal's physical, mental, and emotional needs should not be keeping that animal and other solutions should be sought out," he wrote on his website. "The Bob Irwin Wildlife & Conservation Foundation Inc. and I do not support the use of captive animals for the performance of tricks with the intent of mere entertainment for financial gain."
Well, this will make the next family gathering super fun. This sounds like the perfect recipe for a reality show. Keeping Up With the Irwins, anyone?