SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. President Joel Manby announced Thursday that the company would stop its captive breeding program of killer whales and their performances at theme parks, saying “society’s attitudes have shifted.”
Park attendance dropped after a 2013 documentary “Blackfish” highlighted problems within the sea-park industry. Among other incidents, it featured the death of a trainer in 2010, when an orca whale named Tilikum grabbed her by the hair and pulled her into a pool.
“We needed to move to where society was moving. That’s why it’s now and not two years in the future,” Manby said during a telephone news conference, reported the Associated Press.
The Orlando, Florida-based SeaWorld said last fall that it would replace its “Shamu” killer whale shows in San Diego with conservation-focused programs.