In anticipation of Hurricane Irma’s landfall in Florida, five Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins were transported from Dolphin Connection, a marine mammal organization owned by Hawks Cay Resort in Duck Key to SeaWorld Orlando. Four team members from Dolphin Connection traveled with the dolphins and are caring for them at SeaWorld’s behind the scenes area. Dolphin Connection is a renowned marine life educational facility with interactive dolphin conservation programs.
The decision to conduct an emergency evacuation of the Dolphin Connection animals was made as a result of Hurricane Irma’s current projection and anticipated impact on the Florida Keys. Each year, marine life institutions across the state convene to evaluate emergency plans and procedures for severe weather situations like this.
The five male dolphins range in age from 13 to 43 years old and are expected to stay at SeaWorld Orlando until they can be safely returned to their home in the Florida Keys. Staff members from Dolphin Connection are staying in the Orlando area to monitor the animals during the storm.
To ensure the safety of our guests, ambassadors and animals during the expected impact from Hurricane Irma, SeaWorld Orlando, Aquatica Orlando, Discovery Cove, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Adventure Island will remain closed on Sunday, September 10 and Monday, September 11.
SeaWorld's parks have comprehensive weather preparedness plans, and security and zoological staff will remain on property in secure locations during the storm. SeaWorld is also providing support and temporary housing for animals from other zoological facilities in coastal areas expected to have greater impact.
Due to the projected path of Hurricane Irma, SeaWorld Orlando, Discovery Cove, Aquatica Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay have enacted our Named Storm Policy, also known as the “Peace of Mind” Policy, effective immediately. The parks are rescheduling or refunding any vacation package or individual park tickets booked through SeaWorld Vacations, Busch Gardens Vacations, DiscoveryCove.com, SeaWorld.com, BuschGardens.com, or the contact center. The parks will not apply any cancellation or change fees for this service.
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