Amid backlash of how it treats its killer whales, SeaWorld announced Friday that it will build new, larger environments for orcas at its theme parks.
SeaWorld San Diego revealed that it plans to double the size of its current orca environment. According to The L.A. Times, the new environment will be called the Blue World Project, and “will be nearly double the size of the current facility,” measuring 350 feet across and 50 feet deep. The new aquarium will also “allow visitors to view the orcas from a 40-foot-tall glass wall below the water line” (because, apparently, that’s just as good as seeing them in the ocean).
In the announcement, SeaWorld also said that it’s planning similar environments for SeaWorld Orlando and SeaWorld San Antonio. In addition, the theme park operator pledged $10 million in orca research, and that it will implement an independent advisory board of scientists to oversee its orca program.
The news comes after the company’s stock sank 30 per cent on Wednesday due to poor attendance and backlash from the award-winning documentary “Blackfish,” which examined the psychological effects of killer whales in captive environment, including SeaWorld’s orca, Tillikum.
The company’s shares, which are at its lowest, rebounded slightly after Friday’s news, which is good news for SeaWorld, but bad news for the orcas. SeaWorld can build all the giant aquariums they want, but nothing short of the actual ocean will do for the proper care and treatment of the whales. Here’s hoping that SeaWorld’s lame — latest — attempt will leave them floundering.