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Sea World To Expand Killer Whale Habitats

On August 15th, Sea World Parks announced a bold move to educate the public about killer whales. The Blue World Project will take place in all three parks: San Diego, Orlando and San Antonio.
Essentially, all three parks will expand their killer whale habitats by adding additonal viewing areas. This new space will let them see the orcas up close against the glass as well as from an above water platform. In addition, Sea World is adding a “fast water current” to the new area letting the killer whales swim against the moving water.
Copyright Sea World Entertainment

Copyright Sea World Entertainment

According to the statement released today, “The new environment will also allow for increased engagement with SeaWorld experts through new enrichment experiences and interactive programs. The environment will enhance the educational experience for guests, foster deeper knowledge of killer whales and their ocean environment, and inspire guests to celebrate and conserve the natural world. A host of new educational programs will be available as well.”
“For 50 years, SeaWorld has transformed how the world views marine life. The unprecedented access to marine mammals has increased our knowledge of the ocean and inspired generations. The Blue World Project has just as bold a vision: to advance global understanding of killer whales and to educate, and inspire conservation efforts to protect them in the wild.”
Copyright Sea World Entertainment

Copyright Sea World Entertainment

“That’s why we are committing $10 million in matching funds specifically aimed at stopping threats to killer whales in the wild, and that’s on top of the nearly 350 studies we’ve done over the years that have contributed to our understanding of killer whales, marine mammals and other animals that live in the ocean.”
Copyright Sea World Entertainment

Copyright Sea World Entertainment

“Making sure our oceans are healthy is a big concern not just for killer whales, but for all marine life. SeaWorld will be embarking on a major multi-million dollar partnership focused on protecting our oceans. This partnership will enhance our ongoing efforts on this front, including our Rising Tide project focused on reef conservation and our beach cleanup and restoration work.”
Copyright Sea World Entertainment

Copyright Sea World Entertainment

“Finally, in conjunction with the Blue World Project, SeaWorld is bringing on some of the foremost experts in their fields to form an independent advisory panel. We’re engaging the “best of the best” to hear new perspectives and ideas for the new habitat and advise on research and learning opportunities not just at our parks, but in the wild as well.”
Copyright Sea World Parks

Copyright Sea World Parks

Essentially, Sea World is doubling down on their commitment to killer whales in their parks. While not mentioned in any of the press announcements, this is definitely a reaction to “Blackfish”, at least in some way. The best way to combat their negative publicity is to educate the public in what Sea World does for these animals and this seems to be their long term solution. Your thoughts?
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