For animal rights campaigners and those dedicated to the movement sparked by the famous Blackfish documentary, this latest SeaWorld news can only be a positive step in the right direction.
Joel Manby, the CEO of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, has made the announcement that its San Diego attraction will be stopping the famous orca shows.
He said: ‘They [visitors] want the orca experience to be activities the whales do in the wild. Things they perceive as tricks, they don’t like as well.’
This change is set to be made by 2017, and comes after a very public backlash against SeaWorld’s practices of keeping the mammals in unnatural and cruel captivity.
Today, it has also been announced that California’s SeaWorld has banned its breeding program and entertainment shows, under a new measure that has been signed by Governor Jerry Brown.
SeaWorld has faced intense criticism of late, which has largely been spurred on by the critically acclaimed documentary film Blackfish, which details the harsh and tragic realities of capturing and enclosing killer whales.
The film also recalls the deaths which have occured at SeaWorld, focusing on the tragic stories of Dawn Brancheau and the whale Tilikum.
Many celebrities, including Harry Styles, have also publicly shunned the company. The One Direction star’s message was reported to have been one reason behind a 400% spike in negative online comments aimed at the water parks.
It has also been reported that SeaWorld has seen a drastic drop in attendance, with shares halving in value since the release of the documentary.
Many have been left wondering what this latest announcement will mean for SeaWorld’s other parks, as the Orca shows also take centre stage at other locations.
One member of the public took to Twitter to say: ‘Today is a good day, about time the live orca shows were stopped. Now we just need @SeaWorld to close down forever.’
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Another wrote: ‘Seeing is believing, especially when it comes to @SeaWorld. They need to set free the animals they’ve enslaved.’