Year In Review: SeaWorld’s Work With Animals in Need of Rescue, Rehabilitation, and Return

December 31, 2021
This year, SeaWorld Rescue teams across all three parks mobilized to help rescue and rehabilitate animals in need with the end goal of being able to return them to their natural habitat. Through their combined efforts, and the support and partnership of a number of crucial organizations, our teams were able to rescue over 1,145 animals across a number of different species, including bottlenose dolphins, manatees, sea lions, seals, sea turtles, sharks, birds, and many more.

In 2021, the teams worked around the clock, rushing to support these animals as they struggled through unique experiences – like the Unusual Mortality Event of manatees in Florida, and dolphin displacements from natural disasters such as Hurricane Ida and flooding.


Each team provides valuable support in their markets and beyond, sometimes traveling hundreds of miles away to assist partners in other regions. In fact, our teams logged a combined total of well over 50,000 miles this year alone. That’s the equivalent of circling the Earth over 6 times! Plus, our teams in San Antonio and Orlando even worked together on some rescues.

Our veterinary and care teams are some of the best in the business, and they provide excellent care to each animal that comes through our doors. Across the three parks, these teams have been working 365 days to ensure our goal of returning as many animals back to their natural environment as quickly as we can.

Sea Turtle Release

This impressive work could not be done without two things: an incredibly dedicated SeaWorld team comprised of veterinarians, rescuers, and animal care specialists, and supportive partners across the country. We are very grateful for the support and partnership of organizations such as NOAA, US Fish & Wildlife Services, Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Manatee Rescue & Rehabilitation Partnership (MRP), Marine Mammal Stranding Networks in the Southeast, Texas, Alaska, California, Oregon, and Washington, Audubon Nature Institute, National Marine Mammal Foundation, Institute for Marine Mammal Studies, state and local government officials, and many, many more.

2021 has been a tough year for many species, with populations taking a hit and many in need of extra intensive care. As we look to 2022, we continue to bolster our teams and partnerships with the hope of rescuing and returning as many animals as we can.
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