Sea World made a huge announcement that will surprise park lovers everywhere! It’s the end of an unforgettable era of Orca whales that has traditionally been one of the park’s biggest and most popular attractions, and the reason they are making the change is a true sentiment of love, honor, and respect. Their reason while unexpected to many is one they made to benefit and protect the Orca whale species. Needless to say park goers and Sea World fans from all over are sure going to miss them.
The good news! The whales will not be leaving right away. Sea World decided to put an immediate stop to breeding whales held in their parks. They will continue to house the whales currently cared for in their facilities, but will phase out use of the whales in live performances at their parks. The end result is that there won’t be any new whales entering the Sea World parks again. So, if you had plans on taking a trip to Sea World hoping to see the renowned Orca whales you better make plans to get there real soon! "As society's understanding of orcas continues to change, SeaWorld is changing with it," Joel Manby, President and Chief Executive Officer of SeaWorld Entertainment.
The decision to end breeding immediately came following public criticism over the concerns and information exposed in the 2013 documentary “Blackfish”. Allegedly in 2015 Sea World lost an estimated 84% decline in profits, which may have been the result of the documentary’s release. They were called out on their responsibility to the whales they currently hold captive, and it didn’t take long before they decided to act in the best interests of the whales they featured in the parks for so long. Sea World joined efforts with the Humane Society of the United Stated (HSUS), and is also doing everything possible to protect the whales that will continue to reside at the 12 Sea World parks.
"By making this the last generation of orcas in our care and reimagining how guests will encounter these beautiful animals, we are fulfilling our mission of providing visitors to our parks with experiences that matter." Joel Manby
Sea World is following many other efforts to eliminate animals from live performance exhibits for their safety and protection. They are giving back to the animals they praised in their parks for so many years, not to mention profited for so long. They are making an impact that will have a long lasting effect on the future of exhibit show animals all over the world, and frankly at the moment they are to be commended. Sea World is making such a huge change in their traditions, and encouraged to continue their whale saving efforts in their parks world wide!