SeaWorld to STOP killer whale shows following backlash over the animals’ treatment
Controversial theme park SeaWorld attend by thousands of Brits each year is to phase out its killer whale shows in San Diego following months of criticism over its treatment of orcas.
Bosses plan instead to introduce a new experience in 2017 which they say will take place in a more natural setting that would carry a "conservation message inspiring people to act."
The announcement is contained in a company document posted online in advance of statement by SeaWorld Entertainment CEO Joel Manby and other senior executives.
Read more: SeaWorld's profits in deep water as Blackfish documentary's serious claims cost park visitors
He hinted last week of a shift in the way the park shows off its killer whales.
The move comes as calls to end the captive breeding of orcas increase.
SeaWorld parks in America have seen a noticeable decline in visitors following the 2013 release of the critical documentary Blackfish.
The film focused on the captivity of Tilikum, an orca involved in the deaths of three individuals, and the problems of keeping killer whales in captivity.
The documentary included Tilikum's capture in 1983 off the coast of Iceland and his purported bullying by other whales held in SeaWorld.
SeaWorld Entertainment went from $37.4 million (£24. 7 million) in 2014 to $5.8 (£3.8 million) million in 2015, in the second quarter.
Revenue fell from $405.1 million (£268 million ) to $391.6 million (£258 million), a drop of 3%, in the second quarter of 2015 when compared to 2014.
The park also saw 100,000 fewer visitors than it did at the same time in 2014, down 2%.