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SeaWorld Stops Import of 18 Whales from Russia after Harry Styles Urges Fans to Boycott Company

One Direction singer Harry Styles apparently has a very loyal fan base.

According to The Independent, Sea World has vowed to no longer accept 18 imported Beluga whales from Russia after Styles pleaded with his fans to boycott the company.

Sea World’s reputation was severely tarnished after the release of the 2013 documentary Blackfish, which is an expose over the treatment of animals at the waterpark, but research conducted by the investment bank Credit Suisse reveals Styles may have done more damage to the company’s image than the film.

At a July concert in San Diego, Styles reportedly urged the crowd to boycott Sea World if they loved Dolphins.

Credit Suisse found Style’s comments influenced a 400 percent increase in mentions, and a 13 percent increase in commentary month-over-month, per The Independent.

Sea World had reportedly been waiting for US government approval for the import of the whales, which normally live in the arctic, but the initial application filed by the Georgia Aquarium was rejected by the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration.

Due to receive the whales from the Georgia aquarium, Sea World released a statement on Sept. 1 to announce its plans had changed.

“SeaWorld has not collected a whale or dolphin from the wild in decades. To reaffirm that commitment, SeaWorld has informed the Georgia Aquarium that we will not accept any of the belugas listed on their NOAA Fisheries import permit application,” reads the statement posted to the company’s website.

A spokesperson from the Animal Welfare Institute said it was “astounded” by the company’s move to not import the whales.

“To our knowledge, this is the most significant clarification about SeaWorld’s policy on acquiring cetaceans from the wild,” said the spokesperson.

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