SeaWorld has announced that they are phasing out killer whale shows at the San Diego park.
The embattled park has been under fire since the 2013 release of the controversial documentary, “Blackfish”. Aired repeatedly on CNN, the documentary unleashed a wave of negative publicity that Sea World has been battling.
Last week, a California Congressman said he would introduce legislation to effectively ban the killer whale shows nationwide.
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While Sea World will be phasing out the shows in San Diego, there has been no word on what impact the announcement will have on the Orlando and San Antonio locations. According to the San Diego Union Tribune:
SeaWorld intends to phase out its longstanding killer whale show at its San Diego park next year as part of a comprehensive strategy unveiled Monday to re-position the embattled company amid persistent criticisms of how it treats its orcas.
In its place would be a new orca experience debuting in 2017, described as “informative” and designed to take place in a more natural setting that would carry a “conservation message inspiring people to act.” The announcement is contained in a company document posted online in advance of a webcast this morning in which SeaWorld Entertainment CEO Joel Manby and other senior executives will unveil their vision for the company and its collection of 11 parks.
Just last week, Manby hinted that there would be a new attraction coming to the San Diego park and said that a portion of the $100 million allocated for a project to expand its killer whale tanks would be diverted for that purpose. In its online presentation, SeaWorld references a new capital investment for the park in 2017 and a re-allocation of the dollars that were to be spent on the so-called Blue World tank expansion project.