The Changing Reality of SeaWorld

SeaWorld San Diego Rescue  Getty Images

SeaWorld San Diego Rescue Getty Images

This week’s report in the San Diego Union Tribune that attendance at the local SeaWorld theme park was down 14 percent in 2017 is certainly not good news for San Diego but it’s not necessarily bad news either.

Of course all of us in San Diego have at least some stake in the success of SeaWorld since it is still one of our most popular tourist attractions and helps bring lots of tax revenue into our economy.

And while there is that common belief about perception being reality, the reality of this situation is different now.

SeaWorld has been and is going through lots of changes designed to change that lingering perception thanks to what even media critics call a one-sided documentary called Blackfish several years ago now.

The changes have been applauded even by some of SeaWorld’s critics, except maybe for the most radical ones who would like to see any and all places where animals are not in a wide open ocean or jungle shut down...and who believe that even keeping dogs and cats inside the house is abuse.

SeaWorld remains on the offensive against this lingering perception that nothing has changed.  It has already replaced its longtime theatrical animal performing Shamu show with the educational “orca encounter” and SeaWorld has ended the captive breeding of its killer whales.

SeaWorld also continues to get the word out about how many marine mammals it rescues and saves each year and most local officials have spoken out in favor of what SeaWorld is really all about

While perceptions may sometimes be reality, when it comes to SeaWorld San Diego, a perception can be a misperception.  

(Photo credit Getty Images)