The internet was flooded yesterday with news that SeaWorld San Diego planned to end its live Orca performances.
Turns out most reports were not completely accurate as SeaWorld San Diego is only phasing out the current version of the show. The Orcas will remain at SeaWorld San Diego and a new killer whale experience will be introduced.
The new show will 'include conservation messaging and tips guests can take home to make a difference for orcas in the wild,' said CEO Joel Manby.
Slate gives a good analysis on what this announcement actually means:
This change has only been announced for its San Diego park, leaving no planned changes at the Florida or Texas parks.
The San Diego Union-Tribune interviewed Director Gabriela Cowperthwaite:
“I’m cautiously optimistic,” Cowperthwaite said in a phone interview from Spain, where she’s working on her latest documentary.
“My understanding is that SeaWorld may not be stopping the orca show at all. They may simply be repackaging it so that orcas will perform more natural-looking tricks in new choreographed acts,” she added. “I hope I’m wrong and that this is not simply a slick rebranding.”