Early this morning, SeaWorld’s animal experts and rescue team transported a young pilot whale to the park’s new Cetacean Rehabilitation Facility. The 9-foot, nearly 600-pound whale was being cared for in Key Largo, Fla., by SeaWorld staff and other volunteers after it and 20 other pilot whales beached themselves in the lower Florida Keys in early May. [Read more…]
“You’ve been rescued from being stuck in a mine. What are you gonna do next?” A Disney World visit probably wasn’t on the minds of the Chilean miners as they were pulled up from 2,300 feet inside the Earth, but they are certainly deserving of a vacation. And Disney is going to make it happen.
During their complimentary six-night Disney vacation, Jan. 27 to Feb. 2, 2011, the miners, their rescuers and immediate families will meet Disney characters, visit all four theme parks and serve as honorary Grand Marshals of the parade in the Magic Kingdom.
“The amazing story of these miners captured the attention of the world for demonstrating the true power and resilience of the human spirit,” said Disney President and CEO Bob Iger. “We are proud to welcome these courageous men and their families to the Walt Disney World Resort.”
Trapped for 69 days in a collapsed Chilean mine, the men were pulled from the darkness in a miracle rescue. In one of the year’s most touching stories, their unbending faith and endurance sustained them throughout the ordeal.
The group will arrive to a welcome dinner with characters, dancing and Chilean cuisine prepared by Disney chefs. During their vacation, they also will be treated to a $500 gift card per family, a group photo in front of Cinderella Castle and personal photo albums of their visit.
The Arctic blast that has most of the country in a frigid vice grip is also taking its toll on endangered sea turtles. Since Jan. 6, nearly 100 “cold-stunned” sea turtles from Florida to North Carolina have taken shelter at SeaWorld Orlando’s Rescue and Rehabilitation Center. Cold stun is a condition that causes sea turtles to become lethargic and float to the surface due to extreme cold water temperatures.
This influx of turtles gives the park’s Sea Turtle Rescue Program more than 1,000 turtles rescued since its inception in 1980. SeaWorld aquarists are warming up the animals with heat lamps and blankets, and providing warm fluids. Each animal has also received a physical exam to check their internal temperatures and look for infections caused by their cold condition.
Most of the animals are from Florida waters. On Jan. 7, reptilian refugees from North Carolina – a rare Hawksbill baby turtle and five Kemp Ridley turtles – joined the group. They are survivors of a record number of cold-stunned turtles in that region. These animals’ selective eating habits and inability to co-habitat with other turtle species made their trek to Orlando imperative for their survival. SeaWorld, a global leader in turtle rescue, is well-equipped and has the expertise to tend to these special patients’ particular needs.
Once the weather warms up and the animals receive a clean bill of health, the park’s Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Team will return all of them to Florida waters.