On Thursday, SeaWorld announced its historic decision to end its captive breeding program. While the orcas who remain at the park could still be living there for decades, the news marks an eventual end to the sad saga of orca captivity in the U.S.
But while the announcement was a welcome surprise, it wasn't entirely unexpected. The writing's been on the wall for a while when it comes to SeaWorld's orca program, as the company has been in a downward spiral for years. Here are the five biggest signs that something had to change on SeaWorld's sinking ship.