Earlier this week, SeaWorld Chief of Amusing Animal Antics Ed Waddle announced that the park's San Diego location would be suspending its sea lion show so that trainers could focus on the species' increased need for rescues in the wild.
"The future of our local Sea Lion population is really up in the air," said trainer Kelly Punner in a recent interview. "Already this year, we've rescued twice as many sea lion pups from California beaches as last year. They're dehydrated and underfed; some of them are just hanging by a thread. We're hoping that our shift in approach will get people to look up and take notice of this deepening crisis. Part of the problem is that the ocean temperatures are being raised up above their normal levels, making it harder for the moms to find food. Ha ha — I said raised up! Anyway, we think that suspending the shows will help visitors to the park gain a new perspective on just what it is we do here at SeaWorld. By which I mean, help animals in trouble."