SeaWorld, the US theme park operator, has announced that it is ending its orca breeding programme.
The decision means the orca whales currently at the parks will be “the last generation”.
SeaWorld has a total of 12 parks across the US and over the last 5 years has faced heavy criticism over alleged poor treatment of its captive orcas.
SeaWorld stopped capturing live marine mammals around 20 years ago. The majority of its 29 orcas having been born in captivity.
Activists have called for the orcas to be released into the wild but SeaWorld claims they would likely die.
SeaWorld’s shares rose as much as 6 percent in morning trading following the announcement.