Yes, you’ve heard bad things about SeaWorld. It was in a movie, so it has to be true, right? Well, unfortunately SeaWorld has been the target of a huge smear campaign for the past three years, thanks to Blackfish. It’s a campaign that has taken it’s toll on the park chain. While SeaWorld is continuing to fight, positive things are happening, and they are recovering. The park recently wrapped up their annual Wild Days event, which was filled with more animals, and huge guests like Jungle Jack Hanna. The purpose was to show everyone not only what they can do in their own worlds to help the animals of the environment, but to give it to them in a way that’s entertaining and fun. What they really did was showed us that yes, we need more SeaWorld in the rest of the world.
Wild Days lasts over a period of three weekends every January at SeaWorld Orlando. It includes visits from such well known animal “ambassadors” as Jack Hanna and Julie Scardina. It also features a look at how SeaWorld rescues animals that need help in the wild.
This year SeaWorld introduced an all new show-Ocean Discovery at Shamu Stadium. The show features the parks signature attraction, the Killer Whale (also known as Orcas).
Video-Check out the new Ocean Discovery Show at SeaWorld Orlando
The show exchanges theatrics for straight education. It’s a great change from the regular show which uses more music to show the bond between humans and animals. It’s a great show, it really showcases the education aspect of the animals, and shows the power of the ocean’s top predators.
It does not drive the point home though that we share the world and a connection with these awesome animals, which is why the theatrical shows are so great. Sea World San Diego will discontinue the theatrical shows like One Ocean this year, but it will replace it with another show like the one above.
Back to Wild Days. While the event is over, it stands as a reminder that we do need more parks like SeaWorld, and how SeaWorld (as we know it) might be in danger of leaving us.
Look, if you’re not convinced by now that SeaWorld doesn’t do terrible things to it’s animals like many people have said, then we’re not here to change your mind, that’s not what this is about.
Wild Days brings in people like Jack Hanna to talk about his adventures with wild animals. He also brings wild animals into his shows. Why? Because you’ve probably never seen a Siberian Lynx in person before. You also probably had no idea that the main threat to this animal is the fact that we are taking it’s habitat, and food. You’ve also probably never seen a cheetah and dog who were best friends. Sure, you might have seen it on television, but have you ever seen two animals that are supposed to be mortal enemies be the best of friends? Did you know that this is something that zoos and parks like Busch Gardens does on a regular basis? They do it often because sometimes the animals mother wants nothing to do with it, or it’s orphaned by poachers.
That’s the point, these are things that you and I would probably never know…or care to know, because we are so wrapped up in our own worlds, that the rest of it doesn’t matter. That’s where SeaWorld comes in, and why we need more parks like them. It’s a great day to go to the park, ride some coasters and see the animals perform. Without thinking about it, we’ve made a connection to those animals simply because we’ve witnessed them in a show, and have seen them swimming around. Sometimes the connection isn’t known until you see something later that reminds you of it. Sometimes that connection is deeper and you end up going through the training program to be an animal trainer. Wild Days brings that knowledge and message to the forefront through three big weekends.
It’s important to remember this, as SeaWorld starts to shift. Already the park has said they do not plan on introducing Commerson’s Dolphins to any other park in the chain, and plan on letting the existing animals live out their days at Aquatica. This could be a sign of how the park is changing for the future. Commerson’s Dolphins are notoriously hard to breed, and the animals don’t live very long both in the wild and captivity (though it’s significantly longer in captivity). Could SeaWorld be switching to more family rides, and less animals?
While that’s a sentiment that a lot of activists are hoping for, it’s not very likely. The Blue World Project, while stalled in San Diego, still seems to be very much alive in the other parks. That project brings the whales closer to people, and makes every connection a little bit deeper.
We need these deep connections as we move forward into our own futures. Habitats are disappearing and climates are changing for animals at an alarming rate. We need to protect our world, and the animals left in the wild. However, we are all connected and concerned with our own worlds that the needs of the wild animals don’t really seem to matter. Parks like SeaWorld helps us make the connection to the animals. Sure the animals in SeaWorld are taken care of, and don’t have to worry about things like low birth rate, finding food and habitats shrinking. But the animals in the wild? With programs like Wild Days and parks like SeaWorld, we put are put in a position of knowing and connecting.
Maybe, just maybe if we know a little more, we’ll be more inclined to help more as well.