SeaWorld to end orca shows by 2017 in San Diego

Kasatka, Kalia, Ken Peters
In this 2006 photo, four killer whales leap out of the water while performing during SeaWorld's Shamu show in San Diego. A SeaWorld executive says orca shows at the company's San Diego park will end by 2017. AP Photo

SAN DIEGO – A SeaWorld executive says orca shows at the company’s San Diego park will end by 2017. CEO Joel Manby cited customer feedback as the reason for the move in an announcement Monday to investors.

Manby said the park would offer a different kind of orca experience and focus on the animal’s natural setting and behaviors.

The news came days after SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. reported third-quarter earnings missed Wall Street expectations. The Orlando, Florida-based company has seen revenue drop since the release of the documentary “Blackfish” that criticized its treatment of killer whales in captivity.

When asked about the future of orca shows in Orlando, SeaWorld released this statement to News Channel 8:

“The change in killer whale presentation format we announced today reflects input we’ve gotten from our guests in San Diego.  It does not affect the other two SeaWorld parks.”

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