As the pandemic created operational and business challenges for many companies, SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. remained committed to maintaining all research, rescue, and conservation efforts. While team members overcame extraordinary circumstances and navigated changing regulations, SeaWorld's extensive animal protection efforts continued to move forward successfully. We'll look at how SeaWorld has managed to rescue more than 38,000 animals to date and highlight recent successes.
A Milestone for SeaWorld
Sick, injured, or orphaned animals have always been a priority for SeaWorld staff, which is why they pledged to keep the momentum going throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Conservation work simply can't be put on hold when the stakes are so high.
SeaWorld's conservation and rescue staff faced several weather events that interfered with marine animals' natural habitats and ecosystems in addition to the Coronavirus pandemic. It's normal for the team to respond to many crises, but this year's sheer volume was unprecedented. Three separate storms displaced three groups of dolphins in a small region in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Pacific Marine Mammal Center
SeaWorld is a partner of the Pacific Marine Mammal Center. This is natural collaboration, as the two organizations share a common goal of keeping animals safe. In 2020, the Pacific Marine Mammal Center staff responded to calls of 80 animals in need of assistance, including sea lions and seals. When wildfires spread throughout the region, the Pacific Marine Mammal Center couldn't continue to care for these rescued animals. Thus, SeaWorld stepped in to care for the animals until the fires subsided.
Grants provide a way to inspire, educate, and fund programs, individuals, and organizations that want to keep marine life safe. To date, the SeaWorld Conservation Fund has bestowed more than $18 million in conservation grants to more than 1,200 organizations. The SeaWorld Conservation Fund's focus has been geared mainly toward protecting the North Atlantic Right Whale throughout the past year.
Setting the Standard
While SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. might be known for its parks and entertainment ventures, conservation and research are at the heart of SeaWorld's operations. One of its latest reports, published in December 2020's Veterinary Quarterly, provided a set of standards for assessing and diagnosing wild dolphins.
March was Dolphin Awareness Month and a time at SeaWorld to highlight and educate guests about dolphin research, care, and conservation efforts. Hurricanes, and other environmental events, disrupt the patterns of migrating dolphins, causing potential ripple effects stretching across the ocean. The Hubbs SeaWorld Research Institute aims to understand how dolphins respond to different events. By gaining this insight, SeaWorld can prevent dangerous habits and improve the success of future rescue missions.
More to Do
The team members at SeaWorld know that their conservation work will continue to ramp up in the future. Grants, research, and partnerships have been cornerstones at the company, and these programs have been vital to animal protection and conservation efforts. You can expect to see more from SeaWorld as the company continues to expand educational efforts and rescues worldwide.