SeaWorld announced Thursday that it will be taking a "new direction" amid changing social attitudes and end its orca whale breeding programs, NBC News reported.
The company, which has 24 whales at three parks in California, Texas and Florida, said the current orcas in its care would be SeaWorld's last generation.
"SeaWorld has been listening and we're changing," the company said in a statement. "Society is changing and we're changing with it. SeaWorld is finding new ways to continue to deliver on our purpose to inspire all our guests to take action to protect wild animals and wild places."
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Joel Manby, president and CEO of SeaWorld, wrote in an op-ed article in the Los Angeles Times that its existing whales would remain in captivity because setting them free in the wild was "not a wise option."