Sea World to Phase Out Killer Whale Shows in San Diego
SeaWorld’s controversial orca shows are coming to an end at their San Diego location.
According to Wall Street Journal, the shows will be phased out by 2017. CEO Joel Manby made the official announcement to investors on Monday, citing customer feedback as the main reason for the switch. Instead of orca shows, the park will focus on an experience that is more in line with the killer whale’s natural habitat and behavior.
SeaWorld’s treatment of their orcas has been under severe public scrutiny since the release of the 2013 documentary Blackfish, which explored the life of captive killer whales.
This is seen as a small win for those fighting for whale conservation. Since the release of Blackfish, more and more companies have come out in support of ending whale captivity.
Baby product company, Munchkin Inc., recently launched the Orcas Live in Oceans campaign. The effort is focused on building a costal sanctuary for the captive orcas living in the United States.
Munchkin Inc. has pledge $1 million to help build the sanctuary, if SeaWorld agrees to free Tilikum, to be its first occupant, and from Nov. 9-16, 100% of proceeds from Munchkin.com will go to the Whale and Dolphin Conservation. The company is also pulling their popular Orca bath squirt toy because “a bathtub isn’t big enough for an orca.”