SeaWorld in San Diego is ending its long running killer whale show after years of outcry and falling attendance prompted it to renounce theatrical orca displays.
The show that featured captured killer whales leaping high out of the Shamu Stadion pool will have its final performances on Sunday this weekend. The park has 11 orcas in captivity, ranging in age from 2 to 52 years old.
Under pressure from activists and faced with declining ticket sales, Sea World Entertainment Incorporated announced last year that it was ending its commercialized theatrical orca shows and breeding program.
Parks in Orlando and San Antonio will end their shows by 2019. SeaWorld has seen attendance fall since the 2013 CNN documentary “Blackfish” criticized conditions of captive orca’s, implying that confinement made them more aggressive.
The trainers aren’t safe, and the whales aren’t happy. They are still just doing manic circles around in concrete swimming pools. Tilikum, the Blackfish star in the documentary died in poor health conditions in Orlando when he was just 36 years old.
However the company announced that it would help develop another SeaWorld park in Abu Dhabi, without orca’s. The new tendency looks to be relocating the tourism shows to country’s where human and animal rights are not yet being questioned.
AP / Crickey Conservation Society.