Well, along with all the other fun animals we saw during our time in Orlando (thank you, Aquatica!), we spent one night at SeaWorld where we caught a glimpse of some killer whales! LilSugar and I watched a preview of Shamu Rocks (officially kicking off Memorial Day 2008), which combined fun music with improvisational movements of two orca whales. I was happy to hear that the tanks were eco-tastically filled with recycled rainwater and learn about how much attention the organization dedicates to the research, rescue, and rehabilitation of marine wildlife. To learn how SeaWorld Orlando collaborates with the Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute (HSWRI), read more.
Collaborative research between the institute's scientists and the park's husbandry, training, and veterinary staff expands scientific knowledge and assists in the conservation of animals (and their habitats) in the wild. By combining the resources of a marine zoological park with a nonprofit research institute, Hubbs' scientists and SeaWorld animal-care specialists, trainers, and veterinarians work together to conduct cutting-edge research on rare, threatened, and endangered species and to share scientific discoveries with SeaWorld guests and the general public. It doesn't stop there, as Lil and I checked out plenty of parks within the Busch Entertainment family – and HSWRI is also afforded a unique opportunity to conduct meaningful scientific research supported by the zoological collections maintained at the SeaWorld, Busch Gardens, and Discovery Cove parks and to be on the forefront of conservation and education efforts across the country. Stay tuned as I share more details about the animals we saw at those other parks later this week!