Saturday 1 October 2016

Seaworld to ban killer whale tricks

Freida Frisaro

Published 18/03/2016 | 02:30

An orca at SeaWorld
An orca at SeaWorld

Theme park SeaWorld has bowed to years of pressure and announced it will immediately stop breeding killer whales and making them perform crowd-pleasing tricks.

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SeaWorld's remaining killer whales, or orcas, will still be on display, but in "inspiring, natural orca encounters", rather than theatrical programmes.

Attendance at SeaWorld's parks dropped after the 2013 release of the documentary 'Blackfish', which was highly critical of the orca programme. SeaWorld reported a fourth-quarter loss of €10m in February.

"Our society's attitudes have shifted," said Joel Manby, president and chief executive officer of SeaWorld. "It wasn't worth fighting that."

"We needed to move to where society was moving. That's why it's now - and not two years in the future," Mr Manby said.

The new shows will begin next year at SeaWorld's parks.

Irish Independent

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