SeaWorld will be launched in Abu Dhabi in 2022. However, in this theme park, there will be no orcas. The CEO of the company, Joel Manby said that Abu Dhabi is an "important step."
This SeaWorld is the first theme park outside the United States. The decision for not including orcas in the theme park came after animal rights activists demanded the company not to breed these animals, Daily Mail reports.
The captive orcas caught the attention of the activists. Aside from that, a death of a killer whale trainer and a video of another SeaWold trainer who was nearly killed by the whale provoked the activists to create campaigns against the company.
The first SeaWorld without orcas is located in Abu Dhabi's Yas Island. The island is actually man-made that has become a tourism and entertainment hub quickly. The island is near the southeast tip of the Arabian peninsula.
The Abu Dhabi park will have a research, animal rescue, and rehabilitation center. The aforementioned services will be open ahead of the park, while the theme park aims to educate visitors about ocean conservation, according to officials.
SeaWorld and Abu Dhabi-government-backed Miral Asset Management have been in talks since 2011 about developing the theme park. The renowned theme park ended its orca-breeding program in March after being pressured by activists back in 2013.
There is also a documentary dubbed as "Blackfish," written by Gabriela Cowperthwaite, a mom who took her twin sons to SeaWorld, and a witness to the death of a killer whale trainer. Her documentary has played an important role to persuade the theme park to stop breeding killer whales, according to Fortune.
"I originally came into the film trying to explore the trainer relationship and experience. I thought of myself as a story teller that would pull back the curtain on some things, but I didn't think the documentary would effect change," a Los Angeles-based director said.