Why some dolphins at SeaWorld Orlando are sporting new tagsJune 11, 2018
These dummy tags are worn to help dolphins acclimate to tracking devices they’ll wear during the upcoming study – which will allow researchers to collect important data on dolphin movements to better understand how they interact with their environment. The devices will also allow visitors an opportunity to witness research in action.
Led by the Chicago Zoological Society, the multi-institutional study is the largest of its kind, and it will provide valuable insights to establish consistent baselines for the international zoo and aquarium community.
For this study in particular, we’re partnering with 44 leading institutions to study 300 dolphins and whales at zoos and aquariums around the world. The animals will temporarily sport these dummy tags and tracking devices in facilities ranging from Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo and the Georgia Aquarium, to Dolphin Discovery in Mexico and the Caribbean.
With over 50 research studies happening at our parks on a day-to-day basis, visitors often miss the valuable contributions our researchers are making behind the scenes. From studying the metabolic rates of killer whales to assessing hearing loss in belugas, our research is a large part of our commitment to conservation and animal welfare.
Once completed, the study will play a key role in helping our park teams continue to provide the best care possible.
These dummy tags are the latest example of our commitment to animal welfare research – from publishing studies of our own, to teaming up with respected partners and granting them access to our controlled research environments, and funding and supporting projects around the world. By purchasing tickets to our parks, visitors are helping to fund critical research studies that have impact far and wide, providing key insights into the health, welfare and conservations of species across the globe.