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One Ocean to replace Believe at SeaWorld this spring

By Robert Niles
Published: February 3, 2011 at 10:19 AM
SeaWorld today revealed details about the new version of its iconic Shamu show, which will replace 'Believe' this spring.

One Ocean will premiere in April at SeaWorld Orlando, then follow at SeaWorld San Diego on Memorial Day weekend and SeaWorld San Antonio in June. Here's the scoop:

"Shamu's going to be the one to inspire us to connect to the ocean, to care about it," SeaWorld's director of animal training, Julie Scardina said in the video. The show will feature water fountains, as well as the traditional splashes provided by the park's orcas.

One Ocean at SeaWorld

What the show will not include, however, is trainers in the water with the orcas. SeaWorld's kept its trainers out of the water since Believe reopened following the death of a trainer in Orlando last February. Believe's had a five-year run, and in addition to freshening its orca show, SeaWorld appears to have created a show that designed from the beginning with the idea that trainers wouldn't be in the water.

Will One Ocean be a better show than Believe? We'll find out when the show debuts later this year.

Readers' Opinions

From Tracy Bates on February 3, 2011 at 10:25 AM
I hate that they are keeping the trainers out of the water. These are highly trained individuals and are aware of the risks involved with working with large animals. That being said, no trainers should ever be in the water with Tilikum, which was already a policy if I remember correctly. There will always be risk in life. Just plan to minimize that risk and go forward.
From Steffi Finnerty on February 3, 2011 at 11:18 AM
I think that One Ocean says it all...not a pool here and a pool there, with animals in captivity of human amusement.
The cetaceans you have in captivity should be released. The need more room than you have to provide. For them, it's like living in a bathtub. I know there is a lot of money invested in this but there are other ways to educate the public.

I am glad that you have decided to keep the trainers out of the water but it is time to release your captives.

You do a great job in rehab, but when it's done you release.
Love the animals enough to do what is best for them.

Thank you.

From Manny Barron on February 3, 2011 at 2:30 PM
If the new show is more "Shamu Adventure" than "Believe", than I'm really looking forward to it.
From 99.186.27.241 on February 3, 2011 at 4:51 PM
Yes lets release them back in to the wild which they have never been in. Lets release the ones that were brought in from the wild 25+ years ago and see how well tehy do. I think its been done before and look what happened.
From Jeffrey Hernandez on February 3, 2011 at 6:17 PM
I used to love Believe, but once the trainers were prohibited from being in the water the show became frightfully dull. It has practically sunk to the bottom of my to do list when visiting Sea World. In 2009, Shamu's Christmas Miracles was spectacular...In 2010, it was craptacular. I could look away from the stage for 90 seconds and not miss a thing. The pacing has been ruined.

They need some new tricks and some technical wizardry to fix their current snooze fest of a show. I think it is critical to the longevity of the park. Either that, or add a whole bunch of new rides. Make Sea World as thrilling as Busch Gardens and you'd have yourself an annual passholder for life. I'm pretty sure plenty of other Central Floridians would say the same.

As for those of you beating the dead horse about animal captivity...the odds of those animals surviving in the wild are slim to none. Their instincts are dull because of being raised in captivity.

On the positive end of the spectrum Sea World raises awareness of wildlife conservation efforts. A lot less people would know or care about sea creatures without our nation's aquariums, etc. Sea World also helps give a home to injured animals (sea lions, etc.) that would likely be dead without their help.

Castigate them for putting profits ahead of people by letting anyone work with Tilikum again after his consistent record of violent behavior. As far as wildlife conservation, however, they do a lot more good than harm.

From Josh Morgra on February 3, 2011 at 7:14 PM
Yes. I have been wiating for more detials about this for month, this conformed my vacation to sea world San diego. I hape they will give us more information on this in the coming month.
From Rob P on February 4, 2011 at 4:58 AM
The arguments for and against animals in captivity are a big issue and need to be heard and understood.
To be honest I'm not absolutely certain where I stand on this issue. The points about living space are valid but so too are those concerning the release of partially domesticated beasts back into the wild.
The core issue, I suppose, is whether we think that the people running places like Seaworld are doing so with the the welfare of the animals being paramount in their thoughts with conservation, education and entertainment being bonuses. If it is then I think it's probably okay.
If it was the case that Shamus etc were being abused, mistreated and exploited for no other reason than entertainment then I would be strongly against it as would, I'm sure, most right minded people.
The new show , by the way, sounds exciting but I agree with an earlier comment. I think the interaction part of the show is essential for us, the Shamu and the trainers.
From Joshua Counsil on February 5, 2011 at 1:51 PM
Well said, Rob. I'm always conflicted on my stance towards SeaWorld.

I will say this - while I'm not against animal captivity if the living quarters and conditions are satisfactory, I'm against the live shows that involve the animals doing tricks. It's a sophomoric approach to animal conservation.

From TH Creative on February 5, 2011 at 5:53 PM
Take the trainers out of the water.
From Jeff Nesmith on February 6, 2011 at 8:06 AM
In no way would I want to draw people from this site, but in an effort to provide a central forum for this very discussion, I created ASHERAT.org. I hope you will give it a visit.

The conservation and education defense arguments used by zoos and aquariums are way too vulnerable to the possibility of animal abuse, even if it's unintentional. My personal feeling is that with the amazing technologies used in the medicine, research and entertainment industries, we could create a much more accurate, educational and breathtaking public exhibit of our oceans—and our planet overall.

This would require a big shift in mindsets, and it won't happen overnight. Perhaps, most importantly, we need to hear all points of view.

I used to work at The Nature Conservancy, and I am a former volunteer diver at the National Aquarium in Baltimore. I have some pretty strong feelings of my own on the captivity issue. But I can say with certainty that although we may disagree, 99% of us have the best intentions—both for humans and whales.

It is a complex issue, and there are a lot of very valid arguments on all sides. I started ASHERAT.org as a place for people to take up this debate, civilly, thoughtfully, and openly. There's no profit to be made, no personal data to collect, no advertising to sell. My name is Jeff Nesmith, and I created ASHERAT out of sincere concern for the planet. Keep the conversation going!

From David Brown on February 7, 2011 at 7:41 AM
I have been lucky enough to see the Shamu shows on two seperate holidays to Orlando. On both occasions the show was one of, if not the, stand-out highlight of the whole vacation, but ONLY because of the interaction between the orcas and the trainers. I still get goose-bumps looking at my pictures of the trainers exploding out of the water on the nose of those massive, beautiful creatures. Clearly both trainers and creatures loved what they did and it was a real privilege to see humans and animals working so closely together.

I understand the pressures society now exerts that have led to Sea World's decision to withdraw the trainers from the water but I think it's a massive mistake. At a stroke we have lost one of the only truly magical, (in the genuine sense of the word), experiences at any theme park and we have lost something that spoke of a harmony between humankind and nature more movingly and more powerfully than any video or seperated performance can or ever will do. I'm sure they will do their best to make the new show truly great, but it will never be magical. I will mourn that passing of magic into legend but consider myself so lucky to have been able to see the magic for myself whilst it still lived...

From Jake Johnson on February 8, 2011 at 8:40 PM
Have to agree with the other posters about the shamu show being very dull.. We did the SeaWorld/ Bush Gardens route in 08 and again in sept 10 and man what difference.. The original show as really good.. trainers in teh water getting pushed around and overall having a great time with the whales and you could see in in the performances.

fast forward to 2010 show and no life to it at all.. the trainers were not petting the noses of the whales or even touching them at all.. it was the worst thing ever..

Glad we went to the dolphin show, that was very cool until it rained.

Not going to be doing SeaWorld for a couple years as kids are getting ready for college and it gets kinda old quick..The manta is a cool ride for sure but i want to do universal soon and see the Harry Potter stuff. Just waiting on prices to drop down a bit.

PS to Jeff Nesmith nice site.. :)

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