SeaWorld recently announced a new, killer whale environment that will build on their legacy of providing state-of-the-art, innovative, homes for its animals, and will offer park guests unique and inspiring killer whale encounters for generations to come.
Covering an area of nearly 1.5 acres at a depth of 50 feet, the new environment will also have windows exceeding 40 feet in height providing guests with the world’s largest underwater viewing experience of killer whales. “Through up-close and personal encounters, the new environment will transform how visitors experience killer whales,” Jim Atchison, Chief Executive Officer and President of SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. tells a pet’s life magazine. “Our guests will be able to walk alongside the whales as if they were at the shore, watch them interact at the depths found in the ocean, or with a birds-eye view from above.”
Expanding on SeaWorld’s legacy of leading-edge animal environment design, the enlarged environment will provide killer whales with even more dynamic opportunities. It will support the whales’ broad range of behaviors and provide choices that can challenge the whales both physically and mentally. Among other things, it will include a “fast water current” that allows whales to swim against moving water. Innovative features focused on husbandry and animal care will offer SeaWorld’s animal health professionals and independent scientists unique access to the whales that can lead to a better understanding and care of the animals both in the parks and in the wild.
The San Diego environment will open to the public in 2018 with new killer whale homes to follow at SeaWorld Orlando and SeaWorld San Antonio.
Also as part of the Blue World Project, SeaWorld has committed $10 million in matching funds focused on threats to killer whales in the wild, especially those identified by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration related to the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whale. That includes new projects already funded this year: one that will help to understand the hearing ranges of killer whales and the other that will provide insight into nutritional status and reproduction of the Southern Resident Killer Whale. The matching funds will be in addition to killer whale research conducted by SeaWorld’s scientists, which includes nearly 50 studies to date.
For more information on the Blue World Project, please visit www.seaworld.com/blueworld.