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SeaWorld Continues Temporary Shut Down Of Sea Lion Show

A closure sign covers the entrance to an empty stadium where SeaWorld normally hosts its "Sea Lions Live" show, March 10, 2015.
Associated Press
A closure sign covers the entrance to an empty stadium where SeaWorld normally hosts its "Sea Lions Live" show, March 10, 2015.

SeaWorld San Diego announced Thursday its sea lion and otter shows will remain suspended for at least another week while staff members deal with a record number of rescues of marine mammals along the coast.

However, the rate of rescues has subsided somewhat, so the theme park will begin "informational presentations" on sea lions and otters on Friday, park officials said.

"Although we will continue to keep some of our sea lion and otter trainers in our animal rescue center, we've been able to bring a few back to Sea Lion and Otter Stadium," said Mike Scarpuzzi, vice president of zoological operations at the park. "This will allow us to provide an informational presentation to our guests in the near term.

The presentation will be less complex than the regular show and require fewer trainers to perform." The presentations will last 15 minutes or so and include segments on how SeaWorld rescues and rehabilitates marine mammals. The regular shows were suspended March 6.

Park officials said they expect the sea lion and otter trainers to work with animal rescue staff for another week, and then re-evaluate.

SeaWorld said its personnel have rescued 522 marine mammals so far this year.

Anyone who comes across a stranded or ill sea lion is asked to contact a lifeguard or call SeaWorld's Rescue Hotline at (800) 541-7325. Park officials said people should not touch or feed the sea lions.

Also today, the firm that operates SeaWorld San Diego and similar parks in Orlando and San Antonio announced the hiring of a new president and CEO.

Joel Manby led Herschend Enterprises, the largest family-owned theme park and entertainment company in the U.S., and spent two decades in the auto industry. He will take his new position at SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment next month.

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