Just two days after the death of Tilikum, the SeaWorld Orlando orca who was involved in the death of three people and was the subject of a documentary about SeaWorld's treatment of its killer whales, SeaWorld San Diego hosted its final orca show Sunday.
After years of uproar over the large marine mammals' captivity and performance requirements, the park promised in 2015 the shows would be phased out. SeaWorld parks in Orlando and San Antonio will end their killer whale shows within the next two years.
The signature attraction will be replaced with an educational program about whales and conservation. "You will still see a whale leaping out of the water," said Al Garver, SeaWorld's vice president of zoological operations. "We want to be able to demonstrate behaviors people would see in the wild with the killer whales and their abilities as a top predator in the sea. The vast majority of behaviors people have seen in our shows will be very suitable for demonstrating that."