(GAINESVILLE, Ga) SeaWorld released a statement announcing the end of the famous Shamu killer whale show. They plan to phase out the show within the next year at the San Diego park, and end it completely by 2017.
This decision is a result of many complaints from animal rights activists and park guests alike about the treatment of the animals. In 2013, a documentary entitled “Blackfish” aired on CNN, showing the practices used in the breeding, caring for and training of the whales. Although it may initially seem like a safe environment, the whales experience a great amount of psychological and physical trauma from being held in captivity for performing purposes. The whales remain in touch with their natural instincts, and under pressure they sometimes snap. Several of SeaWorld’s trainers have died from upkeeping the killer whales.
In 2017, SeaWorld plans to replace the Shamu show with something with more of a natural and educational approach. They still intend to incorporate the whales in the new show. In an interview with the San Diego Tribune, SeaWorld CEO Joel Manby stated, “We start everything by listening to our guests and evolving our shows to what we’re hearing, and so far that’s what we’ve been hearing in California, they want experiences that are more natural and experiences that look more natural in the environment.”
Currently, this change does not apply to the other 10 parks in the United States. The phasing out of the San Diego show is a step forward. Critics believe that good things are to come.