Speed Reads

shamu's new home

Following controversy, SeaWorld San Diego will expand its orca environment

In an attempt to fight back against the Blackfish backlash, SeaWorld San Diego announced it will double the size of its orca environment.

That's not all: SeaWorld will also spend $10 million more to research killer whales and establish an advisory committee to oversee its orca program, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The new environment will cover 1.5 acres, and hold 10 million gallons of water. The tank will be 50 feet deep and 250 feet in length, and visitors will be able to see the orcas from a 40-foot-tall glass wall. "Through up-close and personal encounters, the new environment will transform how visitors experience killer whales," Jim Atchison, CEO and president of SeaWorld Entertainment Inc., said in a statement. "Our guests will be able to walk alongside the whales as if they were at the shore, watch them interact at the depths found in the ocean, or a birds-eye view from above."

The new habitat should be finished by 2018, and SeaWorld parks in Orlando and San Antonio will have similar remodels.