Sea World earnings drop, company plans to expand killer whale environments

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Two days after Sea World Entertainment (SEAS) announced that it expects a revenue drop of six to seven percent for the year, the company unveiled plans to expand its killer whale "environments" and pay for new programs to "protect ocean health and killer whales in the wild."

Sea World has been underfire since the release of a documentary called "Blackfish" last year. It focused on the captivity of Tilikum, an orca that killed Sea World trainer Dawn Brancheau.

Sea World says the new, expanded facilities will open first at Sea World San Diego in 2018, then Sea World Orlando and Sea World San Antonio.

"The killer whale environment is planned to have a total water volume of 10 million gallons, nearly double that of the existing facility," Sea World officials said in a news release. "With a planned maximum depth of 50 feet, surface area of nearly 1.5 acres and spanning more than 350 feet in length, the new environment will also have views exceeding 40 feet in height, providing guests with the world’s largest underwater viewing experience of killer whales."

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