Sunday, August 17, 2014
Sea World Announces First-Of-Its-Kind Killer Whale Environment and$10 Million In New Funding For Research and Conservation Projects
Sea World had a hard week with its stock losing 30% due to bad last quarter results. There is several reasons for that starting by a decrease attendance due to what was unveiled by the BlackFish movie. So, last Friday, Sea World counter-attacked by revealing a major expansion of the killer whales habitat, called "Blue World Project" which include a much bigger habitat for the killer whales.
Once completed, in 2018, Sea World guests will enjoy breathtaking underwater views of Sea World Shamu(s) but will it be enough to make the killer whales happy? I'm afraid that Sea World still don't want to admit that these huge animals are obviously born to live free in oceans and not in man-made environment, even if they are 350 feet long with a depth of 50 feet like the new one will be. Anyway, i suppose that a jail twice bigger is better than nothing, and let's have a look at what is in the plans with the press release and really nice renderings.
The first of these environments will be built at SeaWorld San Diego and is planned to have a water volume of 10 million gallons, nearly double that of the existing facility. With a maximum depth of 50 feet and a surface area of nearly 1.5 acres spanning more than 350 feet in length, there will be no other realm like this in the world. The new environment will also have views exceeding 40 feet in height, providing guests with the world’s largest underwater killer whale viewing experience.
Expanding on SeaWorld’s legacy of 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 them both physically and mentally.
Among other things, it is planned to include a “fast water current” that allows whales to swim against moving water, thus functionally increasing speed and diversity.
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 is expected to open to the public in 2018 with new killer whale homes to follow at SeaWorld Orlando and SeaWorld San Antonio.