SeaWorld is planning on launching a new park in Abu Dhabi, according to a release from the company.
Most notably, however, may be the fact that the new park will be lacking the signature feature of SeaWorld’s past parks: orcas.
According to a release from the company, SeaWorld Abu Dhabi will be the first new park without orcas and the first park to be announced since the company decided to phase out its ownership of the whales.
“SeaWorld Abu Dhabi will be the first new SeaWorld without orcas, and will integrate up-close animal experiences, mega attractions and a world class aquarium, bringing the latest technology in visitor engagement,” said the release from the company.
SeaWorld has slowly phased out its emphasis on the killer whales, announcing in November 2015 that it would stop using the animals for theatrical shows at some locations and announcing in March it would no longer breed the animals, thus phasing out their ownership as the current generation dies.
The moves come as the theme park company has received public backlash following the release of the documentary “Blackfish” in 2013. Following the film, profits have fallen, attendance has dropped, and the company has had to launch as massive image overhaul.
The new park will be developed with Miral Asset Management, a developer based in the United Arab Emirates, and will be the “first dedicated marine life research, rescue, rehabilitation and return center” in the UAE according to SeaWorld.
Following the news, SeaWorld’s stock has ticked up just shy of 2% in pre-market trading as of 9:10 a.m. ET.
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