At the San Antonio, San Diego and Orlando Sea World’s, the Shamu Show will be coming to a close to embrace a new killer whale experience celebrating their natural habitat and life.
“No matter what, we will always remember the Shamu show and Shamu as the face of Sea World,” said Briahnah F., 8th grader at Dobie Junior High.
“People aren’t going to want to attend Sea World because Shamu was what people normally came for,” said Joshua G. “It’ll just be boring without it.”
Now under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, it is illegal to import or display orcas without passing expert review first and a 30-day public comment period, only after this can the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issue a permit.
The three locations, Sea World San Diego, Sea World Orlando, and Sea World San Antonio is currently home to 22 orcas in the United States.
In 2010, an Orca named Tilikum killed Dawn Brancheau, a trainer and SeaWorld billboard model. She was dead before rescuers pulled her body from the water. This whale was linked to two previous human deaths. The whale also died the Friday after the attack at Sea World’s Orlando park. After this attack, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration banned Sea World employees from swimming with orcas.
Following this whales attacks, the movie “Blackfish” was made, which made attendance rates fall and the Sea World share price drop significantly. Because of the dropping attendance rates as well as believing that orcas’ do not belong in the care of humans, the California Legislature banned orca breeding in all of the marine parks.
The next show, which will be called Orca Encounter and open in the summer, will feature bigger tanks as well as more natural features which highlights the natural environment of the orca whales.
The trainers will still be queuing the whales and be in the water with them, which is a part of keeping the animals healthy and stimulated. Sea World is still getting much hate for continuing the orca show, changed or not.
The filmmaker behind the movie “Blackfish”, who is against whale captivity, says that the show is the same, “they’re still doing maniac circles in a concrete swimming pools.”