There's no denying it. Since the release of the 2013 documentary "Blackfish," SeaWorld has been treading in the deep end of the pool.
With attendance and stocks falling faster than its reputation, the company said Monday that it plans to eliminate all theatrical whale shows from SeaWorld San Diego by the end of 2016.
A "new orca experience" will debut in 2017 with a "strong conservation message" and "natural" experience, said SeaWorld CEO Joel Manby.
That being said, Manby insists that the company's new direction is not in response to its critics. We don't do anything in San Diego in response to activists," he said. "We do it because we have heard from our guests."
Good thing, because the move hasn't exactly appeased animal activists. Jared Goodman, director of animal law for the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, tweeted: "This move is like no longer whipping lions in a circus act but keeping them locked inside cages for life."
SeaWorld ends whale shows
Yessss sea world are finally ending the killer whale show, well done shamu
- leanne? (@leannedavisx) November 9, 2015
So happy about the progress sea world is making. Animals are not for entertainment.
- Z (@alecaddicted) November 9, 2015
SeaWorld comes up short again. Phasing out the show doesn't end orca suffering. Phasing out captivity does. That's the end game.
- Phil Demers (@walruswhisperer) November 9, 2015