USA // Florida //

SeaWorld Orlando

One of Orlando’s big-three theme parks, SeaWorld offers acres of ocean-related attractions, whale and dolphin shows and thrill rides, attracting some five million visitors a year. However, since the release of the 2013 film Blackfish, an exposé on the dangers and questionable ethics of keeping killer whales in captivity, it has been embroiled in an epic PR disaster. Visitor numbers and stock price have both been hit, and several airlines, tour operators and performing artists such as Willie Nelson have ended their ties with the brand.

Given the global opportunities to watch whales and dolphins in the wild, SeaWorld’s use of these fiercely intelligent marine mammals for entertainment seems increasingly anachronistic; its recent pledge to invest more money in research and enlarge its killer whale enclosures is unlikely to see a U-turn in public or corporate opinion any time soon.

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