SeaWorld is starting to phase out Orca shows
Willy is being set free...kinda.
As of next year SeaWorld San Diego will end theatrical orca shows at their park in an effort to go against the whale-size protests the company has been facing since we all watched Blackfish a couple of years ago and got supremely depressed about the majestic creatures' awful lives in captivity.
"We are listening to our guests, evolving as a company, we are always changing," Many revealed as part of the new company strategy, "In 2017 we will launch an all new orca experience focused on natural environment [of whales]. 2016 will be the last year of our theatrical killer whale experience in San Diego."
Part of a report from SeaWorld on 9 November 2015 states the decision end the orca shows in California was in direct response to customers, who've made it pretty clear over the past couple of years they're not really down with the whole making intelligent creatures do dumb shit for their personal entertainment. Numbers don't lie, and last year visitor numbers dropped 17%, and investors were warned this will continue towards contributing to a $10million hit to profits for SeaWorld in 2015.
Unfortunately there's no word yet on when or if the theatrical performances will continue at their other other killer whale parks in Texas, and Florida.
On Friday, California Representative Adam Schiff said he would introduce a bill to Congress that would ban the breeding or capture of orcas that would be used in performances. The California Coastal Commission has banned the breeding of orcas in captivity, a decision which SeaWorld is still fighting, and you probably remember Steve-O's crane-climbing protest a few months back.
While it is a step in the right direction, Peta's Jared Goodman still stresses there's much to do. "But it’s captivity that denies these far-ranging orcas everything that is natural and important to them... This move is like no longer whipping lions in a circus act but keeping them locked inside cages for life, or no longer beating dogs but never letting them out of crates.
"As Schiff indicated when he introduced the federal orca-protection bill, no change to SeaWorld’s tanks will be sufficient to satisfy the needs of these animals. That’s why Peta is calling on SeaWorld to stop breeding orcas and start building sea sanctuaries where they can experience an actual natural setting and finally thrive."