Orca kept in captivity at SeaWorld San Diego Reuters

Last year, Sea World executives began trying every single approach towards the soul-crushing, Oscar-winning documentary film “Blackfish.” They tried ignoring it, calling it untrue and then they went completely silent. Later on, the San Diego park decided to double the size of the orca environment in collaboration with the Blue World Project. Still, like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals director Jared Goodman said at the time, “A bigger prison is still a prison.” Now, the California park has decided to cancel their traditional orca show, to turn it into a new orca experience debuting in 2017, reportedly more "informative,” designed to take place in a more natural setting to carry a “conservation message inspiring people to act.”

The announcement came through the company’s website in anticipation of a webcast in which SeaWorld Entertainment CEO Joel Manby and other executives will reveal their plans for the company’s 11 parks. The cancellation of the Shamu shows also comes as a result of state and federal laws attempting to shut down the parks by ending the captive breeding of orcas. However, SeaWorld has vowed to fight the ruling passed by the California Coastal Commission with their tank expansion projects.

“Blackfish” director Gabriela Cowperthwaite, says she’s being cautiously optimistic since it seems like the park will definitely not be stopping the orca shows at all. They may simply be repackaging it so that orcas will perform more natural looking tricks in new choreographed acts," Cowperthwaite says in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “I hope I'm wrong and that this is not simply a slick rebranding. If they are truly stopping the orca shows and the breeding, then this has been one helluva day.”

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