SeaWorld Sea of Surprises Rose Bowl Float Previews 50 Year Anniversary Celebration

The SeaWorld Sea of Surprises Rose Bowl float won the President’s Award during the 125th annual Rose Parade held on New Year’s Day in Pasadena, CA.  SeaWorld also had a float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade to announce the Sea of Surprises Celebration to commemorate the 50th anniversary of its original theme park in California.  In other news, the first baby penguin was born at SeaWorld Orlando’s Antarctica attraction and multiple manatees were rescued and returned to the wild.  Continue reading for more details and photos from SeaWorld’s press releases.

SeaWorld Rose Parade Float

Compiled From SeaWorld’s Press Release

SeaWorld’s “Sea of Surprises” float won the prestigious President’s Award at the 125th annual Rose Parade on New Year’s Day.  This award is presented to the float with the “Most Effective Floral Use and Presentation.”

The 55-foot-long float was a festive tribute to SeaWorld’s 50th Anniversary Sea of Surprises Celebration kicking off this year, and featured some of the park’s most popular animals.  Hundreds of thousands of flowers and natural materials made up the colorful reefs, waves, coral and sea life displayed on the float.  SeaWorld San Diego employees donated time to work alongside float builders and help apply live flowers.

SeaWorld Rose Parade FloatSeaWorld Rose Parade Float

An inspiring new song debuted on the float – SeaWorld’s new theme song “Beneath the Blue.”  This song will be heard during special occasions and as part of park background music in the coming year.

Members of SeaWorld’s Animal Care teams proudly rode the float, including national Animal Ambassador Julie Scardina, and two team members from Orlando – Pedro Ramos-Navarrete and Jon Peterson – who will be involved in Orlando’s newest event, Wild Days, starting January 11, 2014.

SeaWorld Orlando’s Antarctica Welcomes First Penguin Chick

In late November, SeaWorld Orlando welcomed the first chick to hatch at Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, the all-new attraction featuring a colony of more than 250 penguins from four species – king, Adelie, gentoo and rockhopper.

SeaWorld Orlando Welcomes First King Penguin Chick

The king chick weighed in at 30 ounces (882 grams) and is currently being raised by its parents with routine check-ups from the SeaWorld Orlando Aviculture Team who monitor the chick’s weight and overall development.  Although small now, it will grow to be more than 24 pounds (11 kilograms) and over 2.5 feet tall. This chick is one of two king chicks that have hatched with more expected within the coming weeks.

Caring for the king chick is a full-time job shared by mom and dad, and it starts before the penguin even hatches.  Since king penguins don’t build nests, the female lays one egg and both parents share incubation duties by placing the egg on their feet.  This is also how they carry the chick once it hatches.  Guests may get a rare glimpse of the king chick during feedings.

SeaWorld Orlando Released 2 and Rescued 1 Manatee in December

The SeaWorld Orlando Animal Rescue Team returned two female manatees into East Coast waters after receiving treatment and care at SeaWorld Orlando for several months.

SeaWorld Orlando Rescued Manatee

The Animal Rescue Team successfully returned Vesuvia, a 5 year-old sub adult female manatee, to the waters of Front Street Park in Melbourne, FL.  She was rescued by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) in April after sustaining watercraft injuries in the Indian River in Melbourne.  She was transported to SeaWorld Orlando after her rescue where she received radiographs, antibiotics and regular flushing of deep abscesses on her body. During rehabilitation, Vesuvia gained 110 pounds, and weighed 855 pounds when she was returned.

Dorothy-Gail, a female independent manatee calf approximately 3 years old, was returned to the waters at Parrish Park in Titusville, FL. Dorothy-Gail was rescued from New Smyrna Beach’s Mosquito Lagoon this past May by the FWC and SeaWorld Orlando’s Animal Rescue Team.  Dorothy-Gail suffered from watercraft injuries and was transported to SeaWorld Orlando where she received antibiotics, fluids, radiographs and other supportive care.  She gained 15 pounds during rehabilitation, and weighed 645 pounds at the time of her return.

SeaWorld Orlando Rescued Manatee

A sub-adult female manatee was rescued from the St. John’s River near Jacksonville, FL.  Sea2Shore had been monitoring the manatee for the past week and notified the Jacksonville Electrical Authority of her distress.  The SeaWorld Rescue Team was then called to assist with her rescue after the animal began showing signs of cold stress and was not leaving the area to feed.

The 7-foot-long manatee was rescued by the SeaWorld Orlando Rescue Team with assistance from Sea2Shore and Florida Fish and Wildlife staff and volunteers.  She was then transported to SeaWorld Orlando, where the park’s animal care team and veterinary staff performed a complete health exam and began providing an antibiotic treatment.  The manatee will receive around-the-clock care, including regular tube feedings and fluids, and her health will continue to be monitored.

In 2013, SeaWorld Orlando rescued 18 and returned 10 manatees back to their natural environment.  In collaboration with the government and other members of accredited stranding networks, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment operates one of the world’s most respected programs to rescue ill and injured marine animals, with the goal to rehabilitate and return to the ocean.  SeaWorld animal experts have helped more than 22,000 animals in need – ill, injured, orphaned and abandoned – for more than four decades.

The Manatee Rescue & Rehabilitation Partnership (MRP) is a cooperative group of non-profit, private, state, and federal entities who work together to monitor the health and survival of rehabilitated and released manatees.  Information about manatees currently being tracked is available at www.wildtracks.org.

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About Dave Parfitt

Married, father of two girls, and living in the heart of the Finger Lakes. I'm a runner with a PhD in neuroscience and a passion for travel.