The Orlando Sentinel reports that Shamu Stadium, the 5,000-seat location of SeaWorld’s “iconic” killer-whale show, “One Ocean,” will be closed to the public for three months next year due to renovation works. It is anticipated that this break will begin in January and last until April.
The whales’ short-lived reprieve from their usual routine of performing tricks and being marketed as exotic attractions to gullible tourists can only be seen as a good thing. But when they are so unsuited to captivity in the first place, would it not be better for their three-month reprieve to be extended to … well, forever? Should they even – gasp – be returned to the wild and allowed to live a natural existence?
Then again, when large amounts of money are at stake, what kind of crazy idea would that be?
Who cares if SeaWorld’s orcas experience a paltry amount of exercise in their concrete tanks, in comparison to the 100 miles they would swim per day in the wild? And what does it matter if the mysterious phenomenon of dorsal fin collapse is a regular occurrence amongst their captive whales, but strangely non-existent amongst wild orca populations? It’s all about profit and turnover, right?
Spare a thought for poor SeaWorld, who must now struggle on for three months without their blockbuster “One Ocean” show.
John Gerner, managing director of Leisure Business Advisors in Richmond, Va., effectively summarizes the poignancy of their situation by saying, “Operating without ‘One Ocean’, the park’s biggest show, will be a challenge, but not an insurmountable one for SeaWorld.”
I don’t know about you, GreenMonsters, but I can feel myself getting all choked up already.
But fear not, for Gerner quickly adds that, “visitors, in general, want to see Shamu. Therefore, the challenge will be to provide at least some exposure in such a way that people feel that they were able to see Shamu.” Alternatives to the “One Ocean” show are already being proposed, such as “Shamu Up Close,” which will take place in a smaller area next to the Shamu Stadium.
Heaven forbid that audiences should be deprived of their opportunity to gape at SeaWorld’s captive whales. After all, human amusement is of paramount importance to the world at large. The show must go on!