SeaWorld to stop killer whale display after international backlash

The SeaWorld theme park in California are set to phase out the controversial killer whale performances that have become a massive bone of contention with thousands of animal lovers.


by Ellie Hooper |
Published on

Chief Executive of the San Diego park, Joel Manby, has said the whale shows, which see human trainers perform with the wild creatures, will gradually be phased out.

In 2017, the shows will cease completely, and will be replaced with a more 'natural' experience instead.

Visitor numbers have fallen dramatically since documentary Blackfish was released in 2013, which showed the harrowing reality of an orca’s life at SeaWorld.


With many of the older orcas being taken from the sea, they are then bred in captivity, separated from their young, kept in tiny containers when they are used to swimming hundreds of miles at a time.

Since the critically acclaimed documentary was released, animal rights activists have continued lobbying politicians and SeaWorld themselves, arguing that keeping the orcas in captivity is cruel and unnecessary.

Vice President of Communications at SeaWold said that the changes do not effect their other parks (SeaWorld have 11).

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