There’s a long way to go.
Earlier today it was revealed by any number of outlets that SeaWorld–the amusement park masquerading as a saturated sweatshop–will begin to phase out any shows that involve tanks and orcas. Phase out being the key term here, as the timeline for this endeavor is still a bit murky.
SeaWorld has said that they’ll stop breeding effective immediately, a somewhat hollow undertaking at this point as they currently have a pregnant mother ready to give birth in the near future. Seeing that killer whales have a lifespan of close to forty-years, it’s going to be an entire generation before the animals are completely free of living quarters smaller than most shopping mall parking lots. Performances in their San Diego park will shut down in 2017, while San Antonio and Orlando will follow suit in 2019.
SeaWorld also noted that they will turn their attention to “new, inspiring, natural orca encounters.” As natural as a facelift, I’d imagine. SeaWorld has been under barrage for a while now, cresting during the release of 2013’s BLACKFISH, a documentary highlighting the captivation and incarceration of these massive mammals, whose behaviors changed enough from the isolation that they began to attack other orcas and the humans they grew up with.
And of course, what’s a happy ending without a little capitalism sprinkled in? Surveys have shown that the general public has approved of SeaWorld’s too-little-too-late resolution so much that the company is forecasting an yearly attendance increase of nearly a million, plus an additional 30 – 80 million in revenue.
It remains to be seen what will happen to the dozens of other species still trapped in there. Most likely a slow death after succumbing to years of anxiety and depression. Another chapter in the “How to Run a Criminal Venture in Plain Sight” book of enterprising. SeaWorld employees also recently posed as animal-rights activists to better understand how their detractors were thinking and acting. Family entertainment at its finest.