SeaWorld Parks Celebrates World Whale DayFebruary 16, 2020
North Atlantic Right Whale
The SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund has committed $900,000 in the fight to save the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale. Working in partnership with WHOI, the funding will be primarily used to test alternative non-lethal gear to help avoid entanglements, one of the primary causes of right whale deaths. We are also working in the field to protect right whales: as part of a mission led by NOAA, SeaWorld’s Dr. Hendrik Nollens recently helped administer antibiotics to a calf suffering from a vessel strike.
Cook Inlet Beluga Whale
In 2017 SeaWorld was part of a team of experts that traveled to Alaska to provide round-the-clock care for a stranded and orphaned beluga whale calf. Tyonek became the first of his species from Cook Inlet, Alaska – an endangered population of beluga whales – to be successfully rescued and rehabilitated. After months of critical care he progressed from being severely underweight to a developing beluga calf and started achieving encouraging milestones. In January 2018, NOAA Fisheries determined Tyonek non-releasable, and the following month, NOAA Fisheries chose SeaWorld San Antonio as the calf’s new home, because it was the “location best suited for Tyonek to thrive.” Today, Tyonek continues to help conservation efforts in the wild through education and research.
Southern Resident Killer Whale
SeaWorld works in partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) to protect this critically endangered species, and in May 2018 announced an additional financial commitment of $1.5 million to the Killer Whale Research and Conservation Program (KWRCP), dedicated primarily to providing support to aid in the recovery of the endangered Southern Resident killer whale population found in the coastal waters of Washington State.
SeaWorld has also been called by NOAA's Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program to assist with an emergency response to aid an emaciated orca known as J50. The team not only provided recommendations on site, but also studied samples collected from the pod at the SeaWorld San Diego diagnostic lab to better inform efforts that could sustain the population in coming years.
Activities pictured are authorized by MMHSRP MMPA/ESA #18786-02