Did you know that the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund has donated over $16.5 million towards animal conservation projects across the globe? In addition, proceeds from each SeaWorld admission ticket go towards wildlife rescue and rehabilitation, habitat protection and ocean health initiatives.
So, it is clear that SeaWorld plays an important role in protection of marine life. In fact, SeaWorld San Diego, SeaWorld San Antonio and SeaWorld Orlando are each accredited by the American Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), a certification that requires institutions to contribute large sums of their budget to scientific and conservation efforts. Throughout the organization’s years as an AZA certified park, SeaWorld has conducted an abundance of research on everything from the impact of sound on bird migration and nesting habits to the embryological development in fish.
Of course most of us can’t help but to picture the mighty killer whale when we hear the name ”SeaWorld,” and the organization is proud to share that they support The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Killer Whale Research and Conservation Program (KWRCP). KWRCP allows SeaWorld to make good on its pledge to fund $10 million in research and conservation of killer whales in the wild.
In addition to funding and research, SeaWorld also acts as a temporary home for animals in need of rescue and rehabilitation. For example, SeaWorld Orlando is one of just three spaces in Florida equipped to house and rehabilitate abandoned manatees. Similarly, in 1997 SeaWorld of San Diego became one of the only places to successfully rehabilitate and release a whale calf into the wild. Rehabilitation numbers within the parks are impressive; each year SeaWorld San Diego helps an average of 100 to 200 animals and SeaWorld Orlando has tens of thousands of rescues to date.
Another exciting development is the parks’ green initiative, as SeaWorld has eliminated the use of plastic bags and straws from their establishments in an effort to reduce ocean pollutants. Park team members also conduct beach and shoreline cleanups to help beautify public natural areas.