SeaWorld’s San Diego theme park is ending its killer whale program sometime next year, Joel Manby, the company’s CEO, announced on Monday. A new killer whale program for 2017 was also announced in the presentation to investors and analysts.
The new program is supposedly going to be more informative to the public and have a more natural setting to promote conservation efforts. This announcement follows the California Coastal Commission’s move last month to ban SeaWorld from breeding killer whales, also known as orcas; a $100 million expansion of tanks was, however, approved.
SeaWorld’s killer whale show has come under fire in past years, facing disapproval and falling attendance due to revelations of the treatment of killer whales in theme parks. The company lost half of its market value after the release of the documentary “Blackfish” in 2013. The documentary exposed the treatment of killer whales in captivity at SeaWorld, though SeaWorld claimed the movie was not accurate.
Nothing was specified about other parks.