SeaWorld and Busch Gardens’ non-profit Conservation Fund have provided grants totalling over $1.1 million for 88 wildlife research and conservation projects. Over the last 9 years the Fund has given more than $9 million towards helping protect wildlife and wild places by providing rapid response funding for animals and habitats in peril either due to natural or human-caused events and catastrophes.
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SeaWorld and Busch Gardens parks care for more than 60,000 animals and 200 endangered species, in addition to helping more than 20,000 orphaned, injured or ill animals through rescue teams.
100% of the donations the Fund receives go to support the wildlife projects. Highlights of the work supported by this year’s grants are:
- To identify the reasons why 90% of one penguin species in the wild has declined;
- To help conserve and study wild polar bears and restore populations of wild puffins;
- To research a sustainable way to keep tropical fish in aquariums; and
- Direct support from SeaWorld and Busch Gardens parks by providing zoological staff to work with researchers.
Brad Andrews, president and executive director of the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund and chief zoological officer for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, said, "The research supported by the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund is vital to resuscitate dwindling animal populations all around the world. Our efforts today will help sustain these species for generations to come."
Research and conservation projects supported by the Fund in 2012 include:
- Responsible Tropical Aquariums
- Declining Penguin Populations
- First Scientific Review of the Rothschild Giraffe
- Protecting Polar Bears
- Project Puffin