Great News! Following Fla. And Texas Parks, SeaWorld San Diego Officially Ends Its Killer Whale Show
“You will still see a whale leaping out of the water,” Al Garver, a former orca trainer and vice president of zoological operations, told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “We want to be able to demonstrate behaviors people would see in the wild with the killer whales and their abilities as a top predator in the sea. The vast majority of behaviors people have seen in our shows will be very suitable for demonstrating that.”
The park has 11 orcas, ranging in age from 2 to 52 years old.
Under pressure from activists and faced with declining ticket sales, SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. announced last year it was ending its theatrical orca shows and breeding program.
Parks in Orlando and San Antonio will end their shows by 2019.
SeaWorld has seen attendance fall since the 2013 documentary Blackfish criticized conditions of captive orcas, implying that confinement made them more aggressive.
Blackfish chronicled the life of Tilikum, an orca that killed a SeaWorld trainer during a performance in Orlando in 2010.
The movie’s director has told CBS that the new show was designed to make the audience feel better, not the animals.
“The trainers aren’t safe, and the whales aren’t happy,” Gabriela Cowperthwaite said. “They’re still just doing manic circles around concrete swimming pools.”