Whale shows will now focus on actions natural to wild orcas
SeaWorld continues to respond to the backlash against its parks with changes.
The company recently announced that its orcas (killer whales) will no longer pose, dance or kiss during performances, reports The Chicago Tribune. This comes several months after the news that SeaWorld will end orca breeding programs at all of its parks.
Chief Executive Officer Joel Manby said the adjustments are part of the company’s approach to more animal-friendly policies. Whale shows will now focus on actions natural to wild orcas, such as communicating between one another and searching for food.
“Think of Discovery Channel, think of NatGeo, think of a really good nature documentary that is educational but fascinating,” Manby said about the appeal of the new changes. “It’s entertaining because it’s fascinating, not because they’re jumping five at a time to wonderful scored music.”
SeaWorld plans to phase out whale shows completely and to stop bringing whales into captivity, all in response to dwindling attendance following the documentary Blackfish. Manby is now focusing on keeping ticket prices low and bringing in non-animal attractions (like rides and hotels) to SeaWorld’s parks in order to compete with other themed attractions.