Florida Tech’s Student Activities hosted a trip for students to experience SeaWorld on April 16. The trip was a part of the Student Activities Trip Series. Three buses worth of students went to explore the theme park, view the animals and conservation efforts that SeaWorld makes present throughout the park.
Walking through the park, SeaWorld’s efforts in animal rescue and planet conservation are evident. Employees are stationed at each of the animal viewing area to explain who each of the animals are, including why they were rescued and why they are going through rehabilitation. There are turtles that have survived shark attacks and are even missing a few legs; manatees that were hit by boats and have some scars or deformed tails; and animals that experienced cold shock and need rehabilitation from the abnormally long cold weather period in Florida.
Each animal exhibit has a variety of functions. Some animals, like the beluga whales and walruses, are at the end of rides while other animals like turtles and manatees are in the line of rides. There are others you can walk up to at any time, like the underwater viewing of dolphins. Each animal area has live feedings, and some even have the option for guests to feed the animals. Some of the more popular animals have live shows that guests can attend in addition to the normal viewing areas, like dolphins and sea lions.
I have been visiting SeaWorld since I was a very small child. Growing up, visiting the park made me really appreciate the nostalgia that came with visiting the park. My favorite exhibit when I was growing up was the killer whale show. I do not really remember too much about the shows other than that I loved to sit in the splash zone and that the whales would wave at me.
SeaWorld made a new announcement about the killer whale show recently. The park will no longer be rescuing killer whales. The show portion of the killer whales will also be ending here shortly. The killer whales will be moving more towards a traditional exhibit where guests can still see the magnificent animals but not in a show fashion. It is for this reason that I made sure to see the One Ocean Show one more time.
It’s sad to see the show go, but this way the park can focus more on spreading its goal of conservation and animal rescue instead of focusing on animal shows. I am so grateful that I was able to get the opportunity to see the show one more time. Visiting the park reminded me of the responsibilities that we have to ocean animals and ocean preservation.