Today, SeaWorld San Antonio unveiled Turtle Reef, featuring a first-of-its-kind biofiltration habitat. Guests can get an up-close look at endangered and rescued sea turtles and multi-colored fish, while learning more about the human impact on the oceans.
Additionally, the park opened two new thrill rides that further enhance the attraction’s theme of sea turtle conservation. Riptide Rescue is an exciting rescue adventure, taking families on a mission to help save marine animals and Sea Swinger, a thrilling high swing ride that will launch riders on an arc almost parallel with the ground at the top of its trajectory, before sending them soaring to the same point in the opposite direction—all in mere seconds.
These rides and the turtle habitat mark the fifth-consecutive year that the park has added new attractions.
Turtle Reef’s 126,000-gallon coral reef-themed environment was designed as a natural biofiltration system to build a near natural, environmentally based recirculating filtration system that attracts wildlife and reduces water and energy consumption in the park, enabling the park to further its eco-friendly mission. This biodynamic, multi-species habitat will be inhabited by rescued and non-releasable sea turtles in SeaWorld’s world-class care, including endangered green sea turtles, and Big Mama, a 250-pound loggerhead sea turtle rescued offshore in the Gulf of Mexico after sustaining significant injuries to her front and back flippers.
Dan Ashe is President and CEO of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director. He said, “Turtle Reef exemplifies SeaWorld’s commitment to ocean protection. This amazing exhibit couples endangered sea turtle rescue with an engaging and inspiring guest experience, and employs state-of-the-art, biodynamic filtration. It demonstrates the leadership that modern and accredited aquariums and zoos are providing in saving animals from extinction.”
“Ocean pollution, oil spills and habitat degradation are some of the biggest challenges facing sea turtles, and Turtle Reef provides an immersive opportunity for guests to learn how they can help the species,” said SeaWorld and Aquatica San Antonio park president Carl Lum. “We are excited to showcase a species that has never been featured before at SeaWorld San Antonio, while educating guests about our mission to protect animals and habitats worldwide.”
SeaWorld San Antonio is excited to partner with The University of Texas Marine Science Institute’s Amos Rehabilitation Keep (ARK) as the conservation partner for Turtle Reef. Five percent of the proceeds from the purchase of select turtle merchandise sold at SeaWorld San Antonio will go toward the non-profit organization whose primary mission is to rescue and rehabilitate sick and injured sea turtles, birds, terrestrial turtles and tortoises found along the South Texas coast.
“We are honored to join SeaWorld San Antonio in our shared commitment to highlight the plight of endangered sea turtles in the wild,” said Dr. Robert Dickey, Director of The University of Texas Marine Science Institute. “This exhibit will help support the wildlife rescue and educational mission of the institute’s Amos Rehabilitation Keep (ARK) in Port Aransas, and greatly enhance public understanding of the incredible diversity of marine life that we must help preserve for generations to come.”