Sea World, a popular water park where families can enjoy a relaxing day, says it will be removing the killer whale (Orca) shows from its California-based theme park as early as 2017.
Although there are people who enjoy the Orca shows, and despite the fact that the killer whales are well taken care of in captivity at Sea World, there are many who believe it’s wrong that the killer whales must live their lives in captivity rather than the free-roaming wild. It has been argued as “cruel” time and time again.
Sea World has been under fire for years about the issue by animal rights activists who want the whales set free rather than stuck in a large pool, and as a result, the number of visitors are dropping. Sea World hopes that by making this change, it will increase the amount of park visitors once again and hopefully salvage its dropping popularity.
Sea World says it’s not the end of Orca shows as we know it, but that the shows will likely be relocated to a more natural setting where the whales will feel more at home. There have been no further details released about what this entails, so it’s open for interpretation until further details have been released by Sea World.
"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," said Joel Manby, CEO of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. "But it’s not universal across our properties."
Interestingly, the California-based Orca shows are the only ones being cancelled in 2017; those in the other Sea World water parks in Florida and Texas will remain, as those in California seemed to be the most highly criticized of them all.
Overall, it sounds like Sea World may be trying to keep to its normal ways while trying to make compromises to make happy those that have been criticizing the theme park’s ways for years. It seems more like a business strategy to get more people to visit rather than a new way to create better lives for the animals that perform the Orca shows at the park.
As you might expect, the shady intentions of Sea World are raising some speculation from park-goers, as well as politicians and analysts. Are they just trying to dodge a bullet, or are they trying to actually make the lives for their animals better?
Source: San Diego Union Tribune