Dawn Brancheau

SeaWorld is ending killer whale breeding

SeaWorld is ending killer whale breeding

SeaWorld will end killer whale breeding, the company announced today, after years of controversy over keeping its orcas in captivity.

The sweeping change to the business model for Seaworld Entertainment, which also owns Busch Gardens Williamsburg, will also include ending theatrical shows and replacing them with natural exhibits that highlight the whales' natural behaviors. That change will start in the San Diego park next year, followed by San Antonio and then Orlando in 2019.

"I've struggled with this decision more than any other decision I've made in business," Chief Executive Officer Joel Manby told analysts Thursday morning.

"We needed to...