In a surprise announcement today, SeaWorld will be ending its killer whale breeding programs, making the twenty-four current orcas the final generation for the parks.
Following pressure and criticism from animal rights groups and the public, SeaWorld President and CEO Joel Manby, in an op-ed written for the Los Angeles Times, says that the company has been listening and will be changing with society. He continued that the remaining whales will stay in captivity, noting that they were born in captivity and would very likely die in the wild.
Last year SeaWorld announced it was ending its orca shows and creating a new orca experience by 2017. That announcement was not met with much enthusiasm. PETA has reportedly characterized SeaWorld’s latest change as a payoff from its numerous campaigns to change the company’s policies.