SeaWorld San Diego to phase out traditional killer whale shows by 2017

10 November 2015

The announcement marks an important first step for the company

SeaWorld San Diego reported today that it will phase out its traditional killer whale shows at the California park by 2017. Instead, the park says it will introduce “a new orca experience” more focused on emphasising the whales' “natural environment.”

The change in direction for the flagship location is a response to the increasing public demand for positive change for the animals within the park, and marks a shift for the company, although unfortunately not far enough to guarantee a better quality of life for their whales, who will still perform shows for tourists at other locations.

“SeaWorld’s announcement today that it will end its infamous orca show in San Diego is an important first step in ending the misery of the animals subjected captivity for entertainment purposes", said World Animal Protection Australia Head of Campaigns, Nicola Beynon.

"However, we would like to see further steps towards ending the use of these highly intelligent and social animals as spectacles. We urge SeaWorld to forego the use of orcas completely, phase out the captivity and breeding of marine animals in all of its venues, and to contribute to genuine ocean sanctuaries instead. Any experience of captivity for marine mammals is a far cry from their natural lives in the wild, and causes extreme suffering and stress for these intelligent creatures.

"SeaWorld has finally acknowledged that the wellbeing of marine animals is increasingly crucial to the consumer tourist public, which does not want to see wildlife exploited for entertainment. 

"World Animal Protection is also looking forward to the pending introduction of federal legislation by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) to phase out the use of orcas in captivity altogether in the United States. If passed, such legislation will potentially have a seismic positive impact on the lives of marine mammals and send a message to the world that wild animals belong in the wild.”

World Animal Protection has been working to educate the public on the problem of keeping marine animals in captivity since 1991.

Across the world, animals are being held captive and suffering tremendously for the purpose of tourist entertainment. Learn more about the simple steps you can take to protect animals in your travels and help keep wild animals in the wild, where they belong.

"We would like to see further steps towards ending the use of these highly intelligent and social animals as spectacles. We urge SeaWorld to forego the use of orcas completely, phase out the captivity and breeding of marine animals in all of its venues, and to contribute to genuine ocean sanctuaries instead."