Breaking News: SeaWorld has just announced that this Sunday will be the final Orca Show at San Diego. It leaves many questions unanswered, but is a welcome victory for Blackfish, the many NGOs that have lobbied against SeaWorld, and the countless Volunteers that have protested outside Orca Theme Parks.
From the SeaWorld Press Release: “Sunday, January 8 will be the last run of One Ocean Orca show at SeaWorld San Diego. This long-running show will close on Jan. 8, 2017, marking the final Orca performance of its kind for our California audiences. Don’t miss your chance to share One Ocean in this final season.”
Seaworld has recently been squeezed by multiple factors. Dropping attendances have hurt their bottom line, fueled largely by BlackFish and Protests. Media coverage has been increasingly negative, with staff layoffs, a CEO Resignation, Orca Deaths, and falling stock prices. Regulators banned any additional Orca breeding, cutting their options to replace their Orca that generally die early in captivity.
Regulators have however approved a new Orca show that it is claimed no longer has these animals doing tricks. It remains to be seen what this involves, and it will still lead to protests, doing little to address the core issue of Orca Captivity. Further to this, it seems SeaWorld remains intent on the Dolphin shows, which Earthrace and many other NGOs remain strongly opposed to.
Never-the-less, this is a defeat for SeaWorld, albeit small, in a war that has many battles still to play out. Watch this Space…