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An undated photo showing the orca performances in San Diego SeaWorld.

San Diego SeaWorld will be ending their killer whale shows

9 January 2017 Entertainment News


Fourth Estate Staff

San Diego, CA, United States (4E) – San Diego SeaWorld just announced that they will be ending their killer whale shows and it will have its final performances on Sunday.

According to reports, the decreasing number of audiences watching the orca theatrics is one of the main reasons why the performances will be stopped. This comes after years of uproar from animal rights activists as they have been asking to stop the shows. The shows featured killer whales leaping out of the Shamu Stadium pool and making tricks with the help of trainers.

However, despite no longer having orca theatrics, the killer whales will continue to be part of SeaWorld in San Diego. By summer, the new attraction would be called Orca Encounter. It is being labeled as an educational experience as it will show the killer whales way of eating, communicating, and navigating.

The vice president of zoological operation, Al Garver , said in a statement, "You will still see a whale leaping out of the water. 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."

SeaWorld San Diego has a total of 11 orcas that range from 2 to 52 years old. As for the other SeaWorld parks, specifically in Orlando and San Antonio, they are planning to end their orca shows by 2019.

The number of audiences started to decline regarding the orca performances after the 2013 documentary called “Blackfish” talked about how captive orcas become more aggressive due to them being confined. It also centered on Tilikum , an orca that killed a trainer during a performance in Orlando in 2010. Tilikum recently died at the age of 36.

Critics say that although the orca shows are terminated in SeaWorld San Diego, it is still the same thing. Gabriela Cowperthwaite , the “Blackfish” director said, "The trainers aren't safe, and the whales aren't happy. They're still just doing manic circles around concrete swimming pools."

SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. also recently announced that they will develop their first SeaWorld park without orcas in Abu Dhabi.

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