San Diego’s Sea World Stops Killer Whale Theatrics


Sea World’s Shamu Show made its last appearance on Sunday, January 8th. Falling audience rates, protests, and the health of the blackfish, were few of the many reasons SeaWorld came to the conclusion of ending the “Shamu Show”, according to

“The show that featured killer whales cavorting with trainers and leaping high out of the Shamu Stadium pool will have its final performances on Sunday,” according to

By September 2016, the California legislature banned orca breeding in all marine parks. This is another reason SeaWorld had decided to stop the Shamu Show. The whales were dying because of being in small enclosures, and they could not breed new whales.

The business of killer whale entertainment is half a century old and has changed dramatically from the start. “Each of the killer whales knows probably a couple hundred behaviors,” Alan Garver, now SeaWorld’s vice president of zoological operations, told the Los Angeles Times, “In developing new stuff for a show, a lot of it is combining those behaviors together in new ways.”

According to, “Customers visit our marine parks, in part, to watch orcas, but a growing number of people don’t think orcas belong in human care.” SeaWorld was ending its breeding program, he announced.

SeaWorld will be turning the orca pool into a new attraction. According to, this new attraction is called Orca Encounter and it’s set to open in the summer of 2017. Sea World is branding “Orca Encounter” as a more educational experience about the history, ability, and the movement to save the whales. Although this attraction won’t be entertainment based, the trainers will still cue the animals and give them commands to follow. reported that not all of the animal rights activists are happy about the changes.“The trainers aren’t safe, and the whales aren’t happy,” stated Gabriela Cowperthwaite, an activist for the movement of animal rights and the filmmaker behind the movie Blackfish. “They’re still just doing manic circles around concrete swimming pools,” she added.