Following the recent 13 percent fall in visitor numbers, Sea World’s first quarter earnings for 2014 have now been released and show an 11 percent decrease on last year’s first quarter to $212.3 million. The latest fall comes on the back of the recent negative, global public reaction to the captivity industry which followed the release of the film, Blackfish. The film, which has gripped audiences around the world, looks into the shocking death of Sea World trainer, Dawn Brancheau, who was killed in 2010 when the orca Tillikum dragged her under the water in front of horrified spectators at Sea World in Orlando, Florida. The film also looks at many other similar incidents and raises safety questions about the wider captivity industry as a whole.
Sea World recently tried to discredit the film and its claims that wild killer whales live more than twice as long as those in SeaWorld. But the discovery near Vancouver Island two weeks ago of a 103-year-old orca whale (named Granny J2) seems to have put paid to Sea World’s argument.