SeaWorld is investing heavily in stranded marine mammal rescue

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SeaWorld plans to build state of the art marine mammal rescue facilities at their San Antonio park as well as at their new killer whale-free park in Abu Dhabi.
They are pumping millions of desperately needed dollars into rescue and “return” (they don’t call it rescue and release anymore, possibly because “return” is specific while “release” leaves the door open to release captive animals in general). Dolphins and whales seem to be stranding in increasing numbers as human-caused noise and pollution pair with climate change to disrupt much of the ocean environment.

Money is tight for most stranding organizations, and governments are limited in what they can and will do so if SeaWorld helps the animals and doesn’t just cherry-pick unreleasable dolphins and small whales for exhibits, they have the potential to make a huge difference.
We’ll see, but I’m optimistic.

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“Over a three year period, SeaWorld San Antonio is committing over $1 million in additional funding and resources, including having SeaWorld animal care professionals and veterinarians dedicated to work with [Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network] TMMSN. Plus, the park is committed to building a new state-of-the-art facility at SeaWorld San Antonio where they will provide 24-hour care for sick and stranded animals that need long term rehabilitation.”

“TMMSN is one of the nation’s most dedicated animal rescue organizations, relentless in its work to help marine mammals in the wild,” said Chris Bellows, Vice President of Zoological Operations, SeaWorld San Antonio. “I am personally and professionally moved by the many volunteers who tirelessly donate their time and energy.  It is a pleasure to work alongside the TMMSN and offer our professional resources as we join together to help rescue and rehabilitate stranded animals with the shared goal of returning them to the wild.”


“And the stakes are high. This announcement comes at a critical time, as January marks the beginning of the annual stranding season which is triggered by winter weather, changing water temperatures and the calving season. The TMMSN typically can see up to 150 stranded or injured marine mammals each year along the Texas coast, with the most common being the bottlenose dolphin.”

“State Senator Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood) commended the partnership between SeaWorld and TMMSN as an example of the private and non-profit sector working hand-in-hand for the betterment of Texas wildlife.  “Protecting our marine mammals and the beautiful natural habitat of the gulf coast is important to the quality of life for all Texans,” said Taylor.  “I commend TMMSN for its commitment to assist and rehabilitate injured animals.  With the resources that SeaWorld provides, we are helping to ensure that our marine mammal populations will continue to thrive for generations to come.”

For more information about Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network visit:

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