ORLANDO (WFLA) – SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment have hit a major milestone of their rescue, rehabilitation and return program, having saved the lives of over 40,000 animals.
From manatees to sea lions to threatened and endangered turtles, the parks in Orlando, San Antonio and San Diego work day by day when calls for animals in misery come via.
Jon “JP” Peterson leads SeaWorld Orlando’s rescue facility because the vp of Zoological Operations. He stated all three parks are linked when the necessity is there for an animal.
“The reason we’re so good at this, is all animals here at SeaWorld teach us every day. Our medical teams learn from that. Our partnerships and the ability to share information is massive,” Peterson stated
The 40,000 rescues embrace over 550 cetaceans (dolphins, whales and porpoises), over 8,500 pinnipeds seals, sea lions and walruses, 2,500 plus sea turtles, over 800 manatees and extra.
Though SeaWorld Orlando might not see all forms of these animals in Florida, they’re serving to out their sister parks.
“I mean, those numbers, to give you an idea, as we’re speaking right now, I got a text just a little bit ago that we returned another manatee to our natural waterways here, back out. California’s in the middle of working with some sea birds that just came in due to an issue. Our Texas park has sea turtles,” stated Peterson. “And when the call comes, we bring those parks together with the Southeast Stranding [Network] or other partners that we work with.”
In Florida, SeaWorld Orlando was key to offering assist statewide through the ongoing Unusual Mortality Event of West Indian manatees on the east coast. The park cared for nearly all of the animals in misery as a result of lack of seagrass, particularly in Brevard County within the Indian River lagoon.
SeaWorld Orlando created extra “bed space” for manatees throughout this 12 months’s response.
“You know, when the call comes, we’ll do what we need for the animals. We’ll never say ‘no.’ And if that means building more water, then we built more water,” stated Peterson.
It’s one thing the household of parks has seen earlier than.
“You know, the same thing happened in California in 2011-2012. They had a UME of sea lions and we ended up building more space there, flying teams in to ensure that we can meet the need of the animal,” Peterson continued.
SeaWorld can also be dedicated to schooling along with its rescue, rehabilitation and return program. It’s one thing that may be seen in its Orlando park, the place recovering manatees might be seen when they’re effectively sufficient.
“You can go to one of our summer camps. You can do sleepovers. We have outreach where we talk about conservation to school groups. We have partnerships with schools that are right here in our backyard,” stated Peterson.
Peterson stated why SeaWorld is so good at what they do, is as a result of the animals of their care are educating everybody, on a regular basis.
Further details about SeaWorld’s persevering with efforts to guard wildlife might be discovered on-line.
If you see an injured, lifeless or distressed animal, name the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC.