SeaWorld Is Finally Phasing Out Its Killer Whale Show

Written by Emi Boscamp

Blackfish just took home a major win — and it's not an Oscar.

SeaWorld announced today that it planned to phase out its killer whale performance, the Shamu show, in San Diego to help clean up an reputation tarnished by criticism of how the animals are treated, reports the San Diego Tribune.

Since the 2013 release of the documentary Blackfish, which exposes SeaWorld's mistreatment of orcas, the amusement park has been under heavy scrutiny by the public, and attendance has suffered as a result.

Starting sometime in 2017, the company said, they will now show their whales in a “more natural" setting, that would carry a "conservation message inspiring people to act."

But it remains to be seen whether or not SeaWorld intends to get rid of shows with orcas at its parks in Texas and Florida.

It's a hell of a start, but it won't completely placate animal rights activists.

Here's PETA's statement, for one:

An end to SeaWorld’s tawdry circus-style shows is inevitable and necessary, but it’s captivity that denies these far-ranging orcas everything that is natural and important to them. This move is like no longer whipping lions in a circus act but keeping them locked inside cages for life or no longer beating dogs but never letting them out of crates. As U.S. Rep. Adam B. Schiff indicated when he introduced the federal orca-protection bill, no change to SeaWorld’s tanks will be sufficient to satisfy the needs of these animals. That’s why PETA is calling on SeaWorld to stop breeding orcas and start building sea sanctuaries where they can experience an actual natural setting and finally thrive.

What do you think of SeaWorld's latest move?

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