SeaWorld has announced today that it is ending one of its most iconic shows: the orca show. It was announced online Monday afternoon that as of next year, the killer whale performances will be phased out.
This, of course, doesn’t mean an end to orcas in captivity. The shows, where the orcas perform tricks and splash the audience, will be over but the animals will be kept for educational experiences. The whales will also be moved to enclosures that represent a more true-to-life environment.
As they’ve always claimed, they hope to inspire and educate people, and not treat animals like slaves.
Many at SeaWorld argued that the documentary was misleading and factually inaccurate, but the damage was done and the public backlash was unavoidable. Last month, the state of California would ban captive breeding of these animals, which eventually will put an end to orcas in captivity.
Part of this ruling, however, was the okay from the state to build a $100 million dollar expansion to its orca tanks, though SeaWorld still plans to fight the California Coastal Commission’s ruling.
Good news for orcas but the battle isn’t over yet. Other states still allow for the breeding of orcas. With any luck, the practice will end sooner rather than later.