Target: Joel Manby, SeaWorld Entertainment CEO
Goal: Thank SeaWorld California for ending abusive killer whale show.
SeaWorld has been under fire for their treatment of orcas and other animals since the movie Blackfish was released in 2013. Organizations across the country have called for SeaWorld to change their policies, including the ForceChange community.
Based on a recent announcement, these efforts have finally paid off. SeaWorld plans to begin phasing out killer whale shows in its San Diego location starting in 2016. Instead, beginning in 2017, SeaWorld will present an orca experience aimed at education and conservation. Whether or not this change will occur at its other parks in Orlando and San Antonio is unclear.
At least a portion of the funding for this change will come from funds initially set aside for the Blue World tank expansion project. SeaWorld also indicates they plan to continue efforts defending their humane practices. While it’s still unknown exactly what the new orca experience will entail and if or when all orca captivity practices will end, this announcement is a positive step. Thank SeaWorld for listening to public outcry and changing their practices.
Dear Mr. Manby,
In 2013, Blackfish brought public attention to SeaWorld’s treatment of the orcas in its custody. Since that time, legislation has been passed aimed at protecting the orcas and SeaWorld has spent countless dollars in campaigns representing themselves as humane caretakers of these breathtaking animals.
In a recent announcement, SeaWorld has started to show a change in their stance. In the wake of public outcry, SeaWorld San Diego has announced it will phase out their killer whale show in 2016 and debut a new orca experience aimed at presenting information about orcas and ocean conservation in 2017.
While it remains to be seen if this change will occur at all parks and it is still unclear exactly what this new presentation will look like, it is certainly a progressive step. We thank SeaWorld for heeding public appeals and making the health and safety of orcas a priority.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Leon7