SeaWorld to End Orca Shows in San Diego By 2017... But They'll Still Be On in Texas and Florida
SeaWorld will end live orca shows at its San Diego park by 2017 amid mounting pressure.
Speaking to investors at a conference on Monday, CEO Joel Manby said the move followed customer feedback.
"We are listening to our guests, we're evolving as a company, so in 2017 we will launch an all-new orca experience," he said. "2016 will be the last year of our theatrical killer whale experience."
But the shows will continue at the company's parks in Orlando, Florida, and San Antonio, Texas. The orcas will also still live at the California park but instead, experiences will focus on the animal's natural setting and behaviors, Manby said.
"In California, they want experiences that are more natural," he explained. "The theatrical production of the show in that market is what they wanted to see less of. It's not universal across all of our markets. We did it because we feel it's what our guests are asking us for."
The company has seen its revenue drop after the release of the documentary "Blackfish," which criticized how the killer whales were treated in captivity.