Curious about what goes on behind-the-scenes with animal caretakers? With all the creatures — and massive amounts of food (yum) and cleanup (yuck) — I can't imagine it's an easy job, but still looks like so much fun. Now, I've already settled on a career path but Sea World and Busch Gardens have super cool Adventure Camps, geared to give teen girls this hands-on experience at their parks and encourage careers in science. A couple trainers took time out to share some secrets, this one about Kinkajou and Killer Whale treats — they're not the same snackers so check out the clip below!
I have a good friend that will travel to great lengths to get the best sushi. Her favorite restaurant is here in SF (she lives about 25 miles outside of town), and she swears by their salmon and yellowtail. Little does she know that her raw fish obsession is one she shares with killer whales!
A recent study finds that salmon is killer whales' favorite food, and they will travel large distances to nosh on the best. Using their Ecolocators (creating an echoing sound), they can scan areas up to a half mile away to find their favorite King Salmon, which provides the high concentration of fats and lipids that these whales seem to prefer. I can see traveling 25 miles to a favorite sushi bar a couple of times a month, but scanning hundreds of miles of ocean for a particular fish? Now that's a dedication that my pal Yum could appreciate!
See? I'm not the only one that feels like getting a massage after a long day at work. Killer Whales get creative in the ocean, using sea kelp and stones for a nice, exfoliating, and moisturizing self rubdown. Thankfully, they don't have to pay the $160 that I would pay for the equivalent here on land! Lucky.
After my up-close glimpse at killer whales, I was inspired to gather more information on the beautiful orca. I still remember the inflatable model I had hanging over my bed as a child – these animals have always been a fave of mine. Do you think you're an expert on the black-and-white beauties? Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz!Take the Quiz
Well, along with all the other fun animals we saw during our time in Orlando (thank you, Aquatica!), we spent one night at SeaWorld where we caught a glimpse of some killer whales! LilSugar and I watched a preview of Shamu Rocks (officially kicking off Memorial Day 2008), which combined fun music with improvisational movements of two orca whales. I was happy to hear that the tanks were eco-tastically filled with recycled rainwater and learn about how much attention the organization dedicates to the research, rescue, and rehabilitation of marine wildlife. To learn how SeaWorld Orlando collaborates with the Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute (HSWRI), read more