Friday, August 15, 2014

SeaWorld's Expansive New Killer Whale Habitats Revealed

SeaWorld has announced the start of a massive transformation process for their parks' Killer Whale habitats, named the Blue World Project.

Named because of the project's massive size and scope, the new environment will first debut at SeaWorld San Diego in 2018.  The additions will also open at SeaWorld Orlando and San Antonio in the future, though opening dates have not yet been announced.

The new Killer Whale environment at SeaWorld San Diego, seen above, will be an addition to the existing stadium.  When completed, the home will contain 10 million gallons of water, have a maximum depth of 50 feet, and a surface area of nearly 1.5 acres - stretching 350 feet long.

The San Diego project will stretch toward the recently renovated entrance area, and "allow for increased engagement with SeaWorld experts through new enriching experiences and other interactive programs."  Construction in San Diego will start in 2015.

While the new home for the Killer Whales will be fantastic for the inhabitants, the additions will also have some spectacular viewing areas as well.  Some of the areas will feature 40 foot tall views, demonstrated in the concept art above.  The areas will be on multiple levels and show the animals in an immersive way never offered prior to the new habitats.

The expansions are also a major part of SeaWorld's commitment to conservation and education.  The new environments will "support the whales’ broad range of behaviors and provide choices that can challenge the whales both physically and mentally.  Among other things, it is planned to include a “fast water current” that allows whales to swim against moving water, thus functionally increasing speed and diversity."

SeaWorld has also committed $10 million in matching funds focused on threats to killer whales in the wild.  The funds will be used in programs that provide insight into the whales' behavior, nutrition, and reproduction habits.

While the projects progress more information will become available at the official Blue World Project website.