A SeaWorld employee posed for years as an animal rights activist, joining protests against the company over its use of captive killer whales, according to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta).
Peta, based in Norfolk, Virginia, said a California activist who identified himself as Thomas Jones had been taking part in the group's activities.
He protested against a SeaWorld float at New York's Thanksgiving Day parade in 2013, held anti-SeaWorld signs outside the company's San Diego theme park, and got hauled away by police at the 2014 Rose Parade in Pasadena, California.
Peta officials said "Jones" was another man: 28-year-old Paul McComb, who has worked in several positions at SeaWorld since at least 2008, including as a human resources representative, according to a job history posted on the website Jresume.com.
The claim, if true, could mark another public relations black eye for SeaWorld, which has faced withering criticism of its marquee attraction - trained killer whales performing for guests. The company has endured a critical documentary, boycotts and the loss of sponsorships. Attendance and revenue have suffered.
"We are focused on the safety of our team members, guests and animals, and beyond that we do not comment on our security operations," SeaWorld spokesman Fred Jacobs said. "This is a responsibility that we take very seriously, especially as animal rights groups have become increasingly extreme in their rhetoric and tactics."
SeaWorld did not respond to other questions, including whether McComb works for the company. McComb declined to say if he was a SeaWorld employee and hung up when asked if he used the name Thomas Jones.
Jones used social media to contact other activists for information. He also urged activists on. "Grab your pitch forks and torches. Time to take down SeaWorld," Jones said in comments on Facebook before a SeaWorld protest on July 4 last year.
Photos of Jones on his Facebook page resemble those of McComb, posted on the page of his wife, Brittany McComb.
Hal Weiss, an activist who sat next to Jones in a police van after the Rose Bowl protest, said he was certain the pictures of McComb were of the same man. Lisa Lange, a Peta spokeswoman in Los Angeles, said she met Jones three times and that the photos on Brittany McComb's Facebook page matched those of the activist.
"It's definitely him," Lange said.
Lange said she saw Jones taken away by police after she and a group of activists tried to stop a SeaWorld float during the January 2014 Rose Parade.
The group planned to regroup outside the Pasadena police station after their arrests, but Jones never reappeared, she said.
With suspicions growing, Peta activists wrote down Jones' licence plate number at a June 6 protest in San Diego and traced it to McComb, according to Kathy Guillermo, another Peta spokeswoman.