SeaWorld will never breed another orca again.
In a major victory for animal lovers everywhere, the company announced Thursday in an agreement with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) that it will immediately stop its captive breeding program, making the current generation of orcas the last.
"Today's announcement signals that the era of captive display of orcas will end," said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the HSUS, in a press release.
SeaWorld CEO Joel Manby said the company would also be phasing out its theatrical orca shows, and renewed its longstanding, but often questioned, commitment to rescuing and rehabilitating sea animals.
"As one of the largest rescue organizations in the world, we will increase our focus on rescue operations - so that the thousands of stranded marine mammals like dolphins and sea lions that cannot be released back to the wild will have a place to go," he said.