SeaWorld San Diego announced last Friday
that it has plans to double the size of the environment where its orcas stay and will contribute $10 million to support research on the mammals.
Known as the "Blue World Project," this new environment will double the size of the current orca housing area. It will cover 1.5 acres, be 50 feet deep and will be 350 feet long. It will also hold 10 million gallons of water.
Surrounding this large pool, a 40-foot glass wall will be built which will allow orcas and visitors to come face to face.
It is expected that the other SeaWorld parks, those in Orlando, FL and San Antonio, TX will soon announce similar projects of their own.
Many believe that this new project and research is SeaWorld's response to the controversial documentary, "Blackfish," that was released in 2013. In the film, filmmakers showed that captivity of these mammals, as well as the conditions they live in, are unfair and dangerous to both the animals and humans.
Will this new orca habitat and $10 million dollar donation be enough to bring customers back to the park? Thus far, PETA is certainly not impressed and through group director of animal law, Jared Goodman, had this to say:
"This is a desperate drop-in-the-bucket move to try to turn back the hands of time when people understand the suffering of captive orcas, and it will not save the company. A bigger prison is still a prison."
It is also important to note that SeaWorld Entertainment Inc.'s share dropped 33 percent last Wednesday and attendance at all three locations have been flat.
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