Hi everyone! One of the marinemammaltrainer.com community members asked to write a piece about SeaWorld’s history. Below you will learn about how SeaWorld got its start and some of the great things SeaWorld has accomplished! If you are interested in submitting content for the website, you can message me here!
Take it away, Kaylin!
By: Kaylin Williams
Hello future marine mammal trainers! I’m Kaylin Williams. I’m 15 years old and I live in Texas. SeaWorld is my passion, so Kyle asked me to discuss SeaWorld history with all of your curious minds! So, let’s begin, shall we?
SeaWorld first opened its doors in 1964 in San Diego, California. This park was founded by George Millay, Milt Shedd, Ken Norris and David DeMott. SeaWorld was thought out to be an underwater restaurant at first, but this idea soon turned into a 21 acre long marine park in Mission Bay in San Diego. The company started off with $1.5 million, 45 employees, dolphins, sea lions and 2 aquariums. In SeaWorld San Diego’s 1st year of being open to the public, it brought more than 400,000 guests to the park. There are now 3 SeaWorld park locations, the 1st: San Diego, California, the 2nd: Orlando, Florida, and the 3rd: San Antonio, Texas. SeaWorld holds the ‘Dolphin Cove’, ‘Aquatica, SeaWorld’s Water Park’, and ‘Sesame Place’.
SeaWorld has been the leading theme park for more than 50 years. This company cares for about 67,000 animals, one of the largest animal collections in North America. SeaWorld also employs more than 21,000 people nationwide. SeaWorld, in conjunction to that, has rescued and released over 23,000 animals back into their natural habitat. The ‘SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund’ supports wildlife research, habitat protection, animal rescue and conservation education. 100% of all donations to this non-profit organization go towards wildlife conservation issues.
SeaWorld has world-class standards of care, animal habitats and animal welfare acts. SeaWorld provides behavioral enrichment, preventive health, veterinary medicine and facilities within management. They also help with research into the sustainability of marine oriental fish. SeaWorld Park’s programs and policies are within federal/state laws as well. Examples are the Animal Welfare Act, Endangered Species Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act and others. SeaWorld is also observed by OSHA, IMATA, AZA, and AMMPA. (You can find other industry related organizations right here!) SeaWorld is also a part of CSR, Corporate Social Responsibility. This helps build lasting partnerships, regulates employee safety and animal welfare.
SeaWorld does research on animals in both wild and in a captive zoological venues at the ‘Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute’. SeaWorld holds the best, and most successful breeding programs in the world. This has led to scientific breakthroughs and discoveries. SeaWorld does this research through the ‘SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Reproductive Research Center’. This research center puts a ton of effort into reproductive technology that can be used for wildlife species management and conservation. This research is IMPOSSIBLE to conduct in the wild. 80% of the animals in SeaWorld’s care are captive born, and they thrive in the care of man.
SeaWorld is partnered up with hospitals, animal shelters, rescue groups, and organizations that provide medical attention to kids with disabilities. This cooperation gives financial support, resources and volunteer work to these social groups. SeaWorld inspires every one of the guests that enter their parks to care and conserve our natural world. They go out of their way to do educational outreaches, park adventures for “special wishes” of kids, they even do Skype calls with their animals to children in hospitals that are too sick or injured to attend the park. SeaWorld had over 21,000 of its team members volunteer to visit children hospitals, animal rescues and shelters, beach clean-ups and recycling fairs. This is SeaWorld’s history, their story. Will you join the voices of SeaWorld supporters? Stand for the truth! Reach out and tell people SeaWorld’s story, your story. Thank you for reading!