SeaWorld San Diego to phase out killer whale shows by 2017

November 10 2015

The announcement marks an important first step for the company

SeaWorld San Diego reported today that it will phase out killer whale shows at the California park by 2017. With the conclusion of the traditional whale shows, the park will introduce a new orca experience focused on the whales in their natural environments.

The change in direction for the flagship location marks a major shift for the company – a response to the increasing public demand for positive change for the animals within the park. The decision, compounded by the California Coastal Commission’s recent ban of captive breeding of the park’s killer whales, will greatly reduce the availability of orca shows in the U.S.

“SeaWorld’s announcement today that it will end its infamous orca show in San Diego is an important first step for the company; performances using orcas and other marine mammals are highly cruel and contrary to these animals’ natural behaviors,” said World Animal Protection U.S. Executive Director Priscilla Ma. “However, we urge SeaWorld to phase out the captivity and breeding of marine mammals completely at all of its venues and to contribute to genuine ocean sanctuaries. As SeaWorld has acknowledged today, the welfare of marine animals is increasingly crucial to the consumer tourist public, which does not want to see wildlife exploited for entertainment. The experience of captive marine mammals is a far cry from their natural lives in the wild, causing extreme suffering and stress for these intelligent creatures.

We also welcome the pending introduction of federal legislation by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) to phase out the use of orcas in captivity altogether in the United States. If passed, such legislation will potentially have a seismic positive impact on the lives of marine mammals and send a message to the world that wild animals belong in the wild,” Ma concluded.

World Animal Protection has been working to educate the public on the problem of keeping marine animals in captivity since 1991.

Across the world, animals are being held captive and suffering tremendously for the purpose of tourist entertainment. Learn more about the simple steps you can take to protect animals in your travel and help keep wild animals in the wild, where they belong.

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