Before we start this very interesting update, we want to make sure that everybody understands that, as of today, this is strictly a rumor, since we are not expert on this subject, and we do not claim to know that what you'll see from the following pictures is actually a raising floor, even though it doesn't look like a normal floor.

That being said, yesterday we had the opportunity of visiting SeaWorld, and we had a couple of really interesting surprises. One was about the Manatee Rescue exhibit (but we'll discuss about that in a separate update), and the other one was about the work being done in the tank where killer whales have interactions with guests in the Dine with Shamu area. Indeed, walls have gone down in that area - which has been closed since the terrible accident that involved the death of the trainer Dawn Brancheau - , and it looks like they're working on installing their first "raising floor." Take a look:




As you can see from these pictures, the bottom of the tank is not visible. Instead, there's a double floor, with a lot of openings. One of our Facebook fans commented saying that "it makes sense to have the 'doors' so certified scuba-mechanics can access the components of the floor." That could be the reason why these openings are located all around the floor. On the other hand, some have speculated about this floor being only temporary, while workers are refurbishing the bottom of the tank:



Just to give you an idea of how these "raising floors" work: according to SeaWorld, the installation of these new floors will both give the trainers the opportunity of having safe interactions with the animals and also please the OSHA, as the floor could be raised in just a few seconds, in case of an underwater accident. But, wouldn't the killer whale suffer in such a situation? No, as SeaWorld would also install some underwater lights and sounds to distract the orca, while probably only a section of the floor would raise to take the trainer out of the water quickly and safely. The park should release more information about this very soon, if they have really installed one. Unfortunately, there seem to be no signs of mechanisms to make the floor work:





In addition to that, it seems like they've added a new glass fence all around the pool:



By the way, the walls on the back of the Dine with Shamu area are still up, but all the signs that hinted to a reopening of the experience have disappeared, and now there's only one sign, which advertises the nearby "One Ocean" show. This may mean that they have had a lot more work to do than what had been originally planned:




Now, it is time to give your own opinion. If these are really the raising floors, we might have a pretty major scoop, don't you think? Please, share your comments! Thanks in advance.

Please, do not copy these pictures onto your own blog or site without OTPN's consent. Thank you.

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