Shamu’s “Final” Swim



“Believe, The Spectacular Shamu Show,” resumes February 27, 2010, at SeaWorld’s Shamu Stadium, three days after a killer whale pulled veteran trainer Dawn Brancheau to her death. Trainers work with the animals from shallow ledges built into the sides of its tanks. (Ricardo Ramirez Buxeda/Orlando Sentinel/MCT)

     SeaWorld, for a long time, held the world’s amazement with their killer whale show, but recently, they have been receiving a different kind of attention from animal activists and lovers alike.

     Activists have complained that the conditions in which SeaWorld keeps their captive Killer Whales, is similar to living in a bathtub and that the water is poisoned with chlorine ‘stronger than household bleach.’ Many activists also claim that the commercial way in which the whales are displayed is ‘inhuman,’ as the flips and jumps that the whales perform are ‘unnatural.’

     These conditions were brought to the public’s attention largely because of a documentary released in 2013 called “Blackfish,” which highlights all of these complaints and gives background on the killer whale program that SeaWorld has in place.

    Last year, the CEO of SeaWorld announced that its “One Ocean” killer whale show would cease to exist, and last Sunday, “Shamu” performed her final show for an audience in San Diego, California. However, Joel Manby, chief executive officer of SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. says that the decision is not one that was caused by activists protests but actually caused by customer feedback. Manby told analysts on Monday, according to, that “We didn’t do anything in San Diego because of the activists. We did it because we were hearing it from our guests…Frankly, the activists aren’t going to be pleased with anything that we do, I think, so that would not be a good justification to make any move.”


     While this discontinuation of the show has satisfied many of the less involved public, some activists including Naomi Rose, think that it’s not enough. Rose, who is a marine mammal scientist for the Animal Welfare institute, told Newsweek that “They have to stop making more captive orcas. Until they do that, they aren’t dealing with the real problem”


     SeaWorld has not promised to stop the breeding of the whales and has plans to create a new experience for the public that according to Manby “will be focused on … the natural behavior of the whales.”

    Seaworld has also only stopped the theatrical shows in San Diego, which means that they will be performing them still in Orlando, Florida, as well as in San Antonio, Texas.