SeaWorld San Diego reported that it will phase out killer whale shows at its California location by 2017. With the conclusion of the traditional whale shows, SeaWorld San Diego will introduce a new orca experience focused on the whales in their natural environments. We hope other SeaWorld venues follow suit.
The change in direction for the flagship location marks a major shift for the company – a response to the increasing public demand for positive change for the animals in captivity there. The decision, compounded by the California Coastal Commission’s recent ban of captive breeding of their killer whales, will greatly reduce the availability of orca shows in the U.S.
“SeaWorld’s announcement that it will end its infamous orca show in San Diego is an important first step for the company; performances using orcas and other marine mammals are highly cruel and contrary to these animals’ natural behaviours,” said World Animal Protection U.S. Executive Director Priscilla Ma.
“However, we urge SeaWorld to phase out the captivity and breeding of marine mammals completely at all of its venues and to contribute to genuine ocean sanctuaries. As SeaWorld has acknowledged, the welfare of marine animals is increasingly crucial to the consumer tourist public, which does not want to see wildlife exploited for entertainment. The experience of captive marine mammals is a far cry from their natural lives in the wild, causing extreme suffering and stress for these intelligent creatures,” Priscilla continued.
There is also a pending legislation to phase out the use of orcas in captivity altogether in the United States. If passed, the legislation could have a seismic positive impact on the lives of marine mammals and send a message to the rest of the world that wild animals belong in the wild.
It’s not just orcas that are cruelly used to entertain tourists. 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 while you travel and help keep wild animals in the wild, where they belong.