Breaking news from the San Diego Union Tribune is that Seaworld‘s San Diego site intends to ‘phase out’ the use of killer whales for what reporter Lori Weisberg describes as: ‘A new orca experience debuting in 2017, described as “informative” and designed to take place in a more natural setting that would carry a “conservation message inspiring people to act.” Seaworld has been under increasing pressure to change its ways since the release of the 2013 documentary Blackfish, which was a public relations disaster for the park.
The San Diego Union Tribune‘s Lori Weisberg also reports that last Friday, Rep. Adam Schiff said he ‘plans to introduce federal legislation that would prohibit the breeding of captive orcas, end the capture of wild orcas and stop the import and export of the killer whales.’This could be the final nail in the coffin for Seaworld‘s live shows, which have seen an 84% drop in visitors amid a catalogue of disasters for their marketing team.
Campaigners like Jack Ass’s Steve-O, who even did a little jail time to raise awareness of the orca’s plight, can celebrate this victory today. Seaworld executives are meeting right now to discuss the company’s strategy for the future, but it’s unlikely they will roll over just yet: a brand new resort is planned on underdeveloped areas of the SeaWorld San Diego park, and there is no news yet on whether orca shows at Seaworld parks in Orlando and San Antonio would also be axed under the new PR strategy.
We’ll keep you posted. But for now, please share the good news!
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