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“I am curious about the recent death of one if your dolphins. Do you guys have an idea of what caused Lagos death?”

Lagos exhibited no signs of injury or illness. The day prior to his death, he showed a reluctance to eat. The preliminary cause of death is pneumonia, but the definitive findings won’t be known until final necropsy results are returned. Lagos was born at SeaWorld Orlando in 2007. The team that cared for Lagos mourns this loss, and we appreciate your support during this difficult time.

“What positive changes in the world have your attendees made after being inspired by you?”

We have heard from countless guests who were inspired to care for the environment and animals after their visit to SeaWorld, including careers in research, science, conservation and teaching. We also receive answers from kids and families who have been inspired to do more to care for the environment. Here is just one example of a teen who visited us as a child and is now making a difference in his school.

“How’s everyone’s favourite Pelicans doing nowadays?”

Claire and Pierre are doing great! At this time Claire no longer is receiving veterinary care and will soon begin the process of being introduced to Pelican Preserve for long term care. Pierre is growing strength and our team is currently looking for a rehabilitation facility that offers slow release. Slow release essentially means Pierre will be able to decide if and when he wants to leave the facility.

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Click here to learn more about Claire and Pierre’s rescue story.

“How many animals do you have at the park?”

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment™ cares for one of the largest animal collections on the North American continent. We care for approximately 86,000 animals, including 8,000 marine and terrestrial animals and 78,000 fish.

What is the true story of SeaWorld?

These are the facts about SeaWorld that activists don’t want you to see. Watch this video as trainers, veterinarians and other zoological professionals set the record straight:

“What has been the biggest success story for a rescue you have done?”

Our “biggest” success story for a rescue would have to be JJ the gray whale! After a successful rehabilitation, she weighed a healthy 19,000 lbs – that’s 9.5 tons! But she didn’t weigh that much when she was rescued.

When she was rescued from a California beach and brought to SeaWorld in 1997, she weighed just 1,670 pounds. Severely dehydrated and malnourished, SeaWorld animal care specialists and veterinarians worked around the clock to stabilize her. Over the next 14 and a half months, the park’s animal experts nursed her back to health. She grew rapidly, gaining an average of 39 pounds a day during her rehabilitation. Her presence at SeaWorld was a source of pride for the park’s animal rescue team, but it was also a unique opportunity for researchers from around the world to study this species. On March 31, 1998, JJ became the largest animal successfully rehabilitated and returned to the wild, weighing a healthy 19,000 pounds.

“i ask sea world do you support green peace??”

No. We support any environmental organization that works to conserve imperiled wildlife and recognizes the great value in education, conservation, research and animal rescue of accredited zoological institutions like SeaWorld and Busch Gardens. Greenpeace does not.

“Do you guys occasionally raise Tilikum on the false floors to get him used to it?”

We work with all the whales, including Tilikum, in the pools fitted with specialized lifting floors.

We’ve trained Tilikum to enter the medical pool so we can provide the proper husbandry and veterinary care for him and that is an essential part of his overall care. Working with the raised lifting floors in this pool also allows us to provide positive reinforcement like rubdowns for him.

“I want to know if the ring used by the trainer has the same use of the clikker for the other animals.”

If you are referring to the whistle or underwater tone you might hear, these are used in the same way as a clicker used when people train pets or other animals. In animal training, positive reinforcement must immediately follow the behavior in order to be effective. A delay of even a few seconds may accidentally reinforce the wrong behavior. But, it’s not always possible to instantly reinforce an animal during training – it may be across the pool from the trainer. The trainer must have some other way to communicate to the animal that it has performed correctly. They use a signal.

This audio signal is called a bridge signal. The bridge signal “bridges” the gap of time that occurs between the desired training behavior and its reinforcement. The bridge signal varies with species. For whales and dolphins, the bridge is usually a whistle, underwater tone, or a light touch. For sea lions, walruses, and river otters the word “okay” or a light touch is used as a bridge. For birds, the word “good” is often used.

Read more here.

“Where does sea world stand when it comes to ocean pollution and the “great pacific garbage patch”? I’m sure if you wanted to, you could clean it up with all that money you make..”

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) addresses some common misconceptions about the “garbage patch.”

The name “garbage patch” has led many to believe that this area is a large and contiguous patch of easily visible marine debris — something that might seem simple to address. However, much of the debris has degraded into small pieces of floating plastic that are not immediately visible. These micro plastics aren’t just found at the surface, but are present throughout the water column.

NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration team goes on to say: “There is no ‘garbage patch,’ a name which conjures images of a floating landfill in the middle of the ocean… there are many ‘garbage patches,’ and by that, we mean that trash congregates to various degrees in numerous parts of the Pacific and the rest of the ocean.”

The problem is not something that can be solved by one person, group, business, or even one country or continent. It takes everyone working together to change how we use and dispose of plastic. The best thing we can do is to work on preventing it from getting into the ocean in the first place. That’s why we educate guests who visit our parks, and have taken steps to reduce plastic, like discontinuing the use of plastic bags in our gift shops.

Read more as NOAA explores the problem and solutions here.

“when Taima passed who became Malia’s adopted mother?”

Malia was old enough to be independent when her mother Taima passed away. At that time, Malia had already been spending a lot of time with several other members of the pod. Over the last four years, Malia has spent a good deal of time watching Katina raise her 4-year-old calf, Makaio. Today, Malia spends time with many animals in the SeaWorld Orlando pod and is quite playful in her interactions with Nalani, 8, Trua, 9, and Makaio. At 8, Malia is coming into her own and she socializes well with both of the oldest females, Katina, who is about 39, and Kayla, 26.

“will Katina have an 8th calf?”

Katina is a great mom, so we hope so! However, she is estimated to be about 39 years old, which is about the time that killer whales begin to exhibit reproductive senesense (eg. menopause). Studies of Resident female killer whales in the north Pacific have shown that 50 percent of females do not reproduce after 38, and none of have been known to reproduce after 46.

“Why do you claim you rescued Marina/JJ when it is a downright lie?”

On a beach in California in 1997, an orphaned and emaciated gray whale calf lay dying. She weighed just 1,670 pounds. A group of volunteers and members of the marine mammal stranding network rescued her and brought her to SeaWorld in San Diego. Severely dehydrated and malnourished, SeaWorld animal care specialists and veterinarians worked around the clock to stabilize her. Over the next 14 and a half months, the park’s animal experts nursed her back to health. She grew rapidly, gaining an average of 39 pounds a day during her rehabilitation. Her presence at SeaWorld was a source of pride for the park’s animal rescue team, but it was also a unique opportunity for researchers from around the world to study this species. On March 31, 1998, JJ became the largest animal successfully rehabilitated and returned to the wild, weighing a healthy 19,000 pounds.

“How does sea world transport whales”

The quick answer is… very carefully! It requires a great deal of planning and preparation to move whales safely, especially since the water units alone may weigh over 25,000 lbs. SeaWorld has developed a transportation system with special padding, custom stretcher to fit around their pectoral flippers and flukes, and shipping platforms with temperature controlled water units to ensure safe and comfortable travel for these animals. SeaWorld trainers, animal care specialists and veterinarians accompany the animals throughout the trip and assist with acclimating the animals at the destination. When possible, we also schedule transportations when there is the least opportunity for distractions, traffic delays or other obstacles, which is typically in the middle of the night. Many of these practices used to transport marine mammals for zoological purposes are the very same used to transport injured, ill, or orphaned marine animals from rescue sites to our parks, and then back to the wild after rehabilitation. Each animal’s safety and comfort are at the forefront of the entire operation, and all appropriate regulatory guidelines are followed.

Watch this video as Dr. Chris Dold, Vice President of Veterinary Services, explains the process of transporting a rescued pilot whale from Key Largo to SeaWorld Orlando.

“When orcas are in captivity does their language change?”

A calf is most likely to develop calls like those of its mother. Vocal development studies at SeaWorld have determined that a calf learns a range of calls selectively from its mother, even when other killer whales are present and vocalize more frequently. A calf can vocalize within days of birth, but sound production is shaped with age.

At about two months, a calf produces its first pulsed calls with similarities to adult-type calls. Vocal behavior appears not to be genetically predetermined. Calves learn which calls to make and under what circumstances. From two to six months, a calf’s range of calls increases and continues to grow until puberty.

A recent study suggests killer whales can learn new dialects. The study found that juvenile male killer whales are capable of learning new call types when they undergo a change in social association.

Additionally, scientists have found that killer whales in human care can mimic the sound made by dolphins.

“Are orca organized in matriarchal family units and do they stay together for life?”

Within groups of studied whales, the most fundamental social unit in a pod is a matrilineal group, which may include two or three generations of whales. The strongest association bonds in a pod are the mother/calf bonds.

A mother killer whale stays close to her newborn calf and attentively directs the calf’s movements. The mother/calf bond weakens as a young killer whale matures, but for Resident whales of the eastern North Pacific, it lasts throughout adulthood. In fact, these Resident killer whales societies are unique in that a juvenile killer whale does not appear to leave its mother or disperse from its maternal pod when it matures. In Transient pods of the eastern North Pacific Ocean, a whale may leave its mother to travel alone or with other whales.