Baylor community should research, visit, ask questions to learn truth about SeaWorld

I moved to San Antonio in 1987 from Barrow, Ark., where I worked with marine mammals for eight years. I have worked with the animals at SeaWorld San Antonio as a veterinarian since moving here and was disappointed to learn of the decision by the Baylor Alumni Network to relocate its summer trip from SeaWorld due to concerns over the care of our animals.

As someone who cares for the animals at SeaWorld San Antonio every day, I can wholeheartedly say that SeaWorld’s animals are healthy and thriving, and the care and conservation of these animals is truly our number one priority. I would not work here or have dedicated my professional life to caring for these animals if that wasn’t the case. In fact, we are strictly regulated by government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and accredited by both the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks & Aquariums.

SeaWorld goes above and beyond and cares for the animals outside our parks as well. A few weeks ago in San Diego, for example, we closed our sea lion and otter show in San Diego so that our trainers could help rescue and rehabilitate stranded sea lion pups. SeaWorld has already rescued more than 500 sea lions in 2015, and over the past five decades, has rescued more than 25,000 animals.

Additionally, SeaWorld has contributed millions of dollars to global conservation efforts. Most recently, SeaWorld committed $10 million in matching funds to study endangered killer whales in the wild.

A lot of misinformation has been spread about SeaWorld as a result of the “Blackfish” documentary and claims made by animal rights activists. I encourage members of the Baylor community who have questions about our facilities or animal care standards to visit, or better yet, pay a visits to SeaWorld to learn the truth.

It would be a pleasure for show them around, answer questions, and allow them to see for themselves how our animals are cared for.

Dr. Les Dalton
SeaWorld San Antonio