Over the past several years, SeaWorld has been burdened with publicity that has not only negatively affected their reputation, but has also resulted in a struggling attendance ever since the release and controversy of the documentary Blackfish. The documentary accused the SeaWorld parks of mistreating their orcas, but as part of the company’s inevitable shift in their business model and philosophy, SeaWorld is taking big steps in an effort to improve their image and bounce back from its alleged controversies. With many changes happening throughout society, SeaWorld is listening and taking action to protect wild animals and inspire others to do the same. Here are three huge ways SeaWorld is shifting gears.
1. The Last Generation of Orcas at SeaWorld
Announced back in March, SeaWorld pledged that this generation of orcas would be the last, and that it would be the end of all orca breeding at the parks. The orcas will continue to live their lives at SeaWorld and will not be released into the wild nor be confined to sea cages. Although some would prefer to see the orcas released into the wild, the majestic orca would not be able to survive to compete for food. Because they have never lived in the wild, they would also be susceptible to unfamiliar diseases, and could potentially be exposed to a variety of environmental concerns. Luckily, SeaWorld will continue to give them the highest-quality care using the latest advancements in veterinary medicine and marine science.
2. New Natural Orca Encounters
SeaWorld will be introducing new, natural orca encounters; the orca show pools and viewing areas will be redesigned to reflect their natural world and to bring guests a more conservation-focused and educational experience rather than continuing on with the choreographed shows. Their mission is to provide experiences that matter, and to inspire people to protect animals and the natural world around us. The move to end its theatrical performances is commended by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and many folks alike as the new natural settings highlight the whales’ natural behaviors while educating guests about the animals.
3. An Overall Conservation Philosophy
With the construction of SeaWorld’s newest roller coaster Mako, the park will now include messaging regarding the worldwide plight of sharks. Each year, tens of millions of sharks are killed each year, with their fins being removed and used in shark fin soup, a delicacy in many parts of the world. World-renowned artist Guy Harvey and SeaWorld have teamed up to help raise public awareness of the issues surrounding the illegal poaching of sharks. Guy Harvey’s reputation with ocean conservation will help lend credibility to SeaWorld as it more greatly emphasizes its rescue and rehabilitation efforts. SeaWorld is also coming together with the Humane Society of the United States in a partnership that focuses on the health of animals and the oceans they call home. Their mission will center around the education, preservation and protection of wildlife and the places they live, while fighting against the commercial killing of whales, seals, sharks and other marine animals.
The orca encounter transformations begin at SeaWorld’s San Diego park in 2017, while Orlando’s transformations start in 2019. SeaWorld will continue to go above and beyond when it comes to the well-being, protection and conservation of marine animals and wildlife, and guests can purchase discount SeaWorld tickets at Tickets2You.com to come face-to-face with marine animals in the parks’ world-class, state-of-the-art animal habitats.