Animal Update: DeSantis Announces Release of Another Animal From Florida Theme Park as Controversy Continues - Inside the Magic

Comments for Animal Update: DeSantis Announces Release of Another Animal From Florida Theme Park as Controversy Continues

Entrance to SeaWorld Orlando, Florida theme park

Credit: SeaWorld


  1. Kristin

    In All honesty I think Miami sea aquarium should do both like if they think the animal could survive in the wild release it into the wild but if they have concerns for the animal surviving in its own natural habitat they should release the animal into SeaWorld care .

    1. Dottie

      Some of the marine animals have been in captivity for so long that releasing them would not be a viable choice. Many of these animals are extremely intelligent, with their own ability to communicate. Until ready for release they should be relocated and readied for release. Miami Dade is only there for the money and the show. These animals are prisoners in a sad place. Governor DeSantis should force their closure.

      1. Rita

        DeSantis is the best. These animals ate slaves. They are used for nothing but money. So sad.

        1. Victoria

          I think you meant are, not ate, Rita. I firmly believe if they are able to be released into the wild they should be, but as Dottie said, most have been captive for so long that unfortunately wouldn’t be possible. Very sad situation.

      2. Miranda J.

        People don’t realize that the majority of these animals cannot be released. They were born and raised in human care and wouldn’t survive. Places like Sea World have done research, rescues and have given animals a second chance and educate the public. Miami Seaquarium could do the same if the proper renovations are done. They could easily turn into a bigger and better rescue and research facility and provide internships for future marine biologists.

      3. Dale parker

        I’m sorry but busch gardens and SeaWorld both have animal hospitals they have vets there 24 hours a day most of the time they get fresh food made daily from fruits to meats every they are a great place for animals to be.animals are their top priority.

      4. Lauren

        I agree for the most part but I don’t think Miami Seaaquarium should not be the entity that determines which animal goes where. I believe each animal should be evaluated by a Marine Mammal expert/veterinarian. Depending how long the animal has been in capacity is plays a big part in whether the animal could ever be released. Example: if the animal has been human fed most of its life there is a great possibility that if it were freed, it might not know how to hunt and that would be detrimental to it’s survival. But Miami Seaaquarium should relinquish all animals to other entities that could and would either help it learn to be free or if it cannot be freed it should be in a facility that is only interested in letting the animal retire from having to earn it’s keep by performing for audiences. A place that does not allow any audiences whatsoever. DiSantis should most definitely make Miami Seaaquarium relinquish every single animal until they are all in a facility that they can find serenity and a chance to heal.

        1. L. Justice

          I agree 100%

    2. Annie

      You said exactly what I was thinking. It’s really the best option.

    3. Karolyn

      I totally agree with you!

  2. Denise Tarutis

    Every situation is different. It should depend on what is best for the animal.Some can be rehabbed and released..others can no longer survive in the wild. The best aquariums release all that can survive and use the captive animals for education …not shows!

  3. David

    Free Willy!!!

    1. R. Marriott

      It would be unfair to free animals into the wild if they’ve lived all of most of their lives in captivity!!!
      I think SeaWorld does an incredible job of caring for all wildlife and rehabilitating when possible!!

  4. Lorraine

    Miami Seaquarium should close there is proof they aren’t taking good care of it’s animals. They were officially evicted. LEAVE

  5. Totally agree. Not all of these animals could survive in the wild.

    1. Shannon

      I would like to know if the lone dolphin has finally been relocated. He/was left by itself for months after Hocotate died at the Miami Seaquarium. As far as I know it’s still there in that tiny filthy tank floating around with zero stimulation. I’m going to dig around and find out. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s still there.

      1. MM

        It says the dolphin went to SeaWorld in another state

  6. Tanya

    I was shocked and appalled at the animal abuse I saw in Florida. These awful places are purely for profit made by imprisoning these poor wild animals in disgusting cramped conditions. A life of torture and utter misery. Also birds in cages disgusting. A hotel the sands of Islamorada has six beautiful macaws stuffed into a tiny cage in an airless car park despite numerous complaints by guests including myself a year on Mr Valdez the owner refuses to let them go to a sanctuary. Animal welfare wants to remove them but your laws are not in favour of the animals. It’s all about the money! Animal attractions to make money, America is so backward in this mentality. Shame on you.

  7. Steve

    Why stop there? Animals are kept in captivity in almost every house in the country. Release your pets! Let your dogs and cats run free! Your turtles, lizards, snakes, birds rabbits and fish. Why should they live likes slaves for our enjoyment? They deserve to be free just like the manatees.

  8. Justin

    Don’t ask questions that cause a pointless debate. The animals cannot be released into the wild just because the public wants to. For the safety of the animals, being transferred to appropriate facilities that can take proper care of the animals is the only option for them. Whether we think it should be that way or not, that’s the reality and the only option.

  9. Parker

    Yes!!! They should close down this Miami sea aquarium and either release these beautiful creatures to the wild! The ones that are not able to survive in the wild, should be taken to Sea World.
    I don’t think any animals should be kept in captivity with the exception of parks like Busch gardens and Disney world, who give them room to roam in natural and healthy surroundings!

  10. Marci

    I think that they should do what is best for the animal. I hope you all know that where the animals go and whether they are released is not up to SeaWorld or Miami Seaquarium. It is dictated by Florida Fish and Wildlife only. They can ask SeaWorld if they can care for the animal for the rest of its life. The ultimate decision to release it or deem it unreleasable is determined by FFW.

  11. Aaron E Cobb

    Just keep them in Miami and hold them accountable. They are great for shows and educating the public.

    1. KAL

      Miami Sea aquarium should be closed. The animals do not have the space needed and they facility can’t even expand because there is no space. When I was a kid I thought that place was awesome. When I went back as an adult the tanks are tiny. So so tiny. And now that animals are not being cared for they are just done.

  12. Shannon

    Exactly right!

  13. Brandy

    It’s one thing to take an animal And rehabilitate it, but it’s another to rehabilitate an animal and keep it held in captivity it’s whole life. It’s great that the manatees are being released. But what about the rest of them? The penguins seals the dolphins the killer whales don’t they all deserve their freedom too. I’m sorry, but these type of places like seaworld,They don’t care about these animals. Those animals are their to make them money and to me, That is pathetic and just downright sad for those poor creatures. This is why I will not patronize any kind of zoo or aquariums. DeSantis needs to do more for the rest of those poor sea animals, Because none of them deserve the situation that they’re in. They all deserve to have a chance at freedom.

  14. I think it depends on the animal,if it has been use to the life it has now from birth or maybe a little older,it would be cruel to release out in the wild and might not survive. I have been to these park’s many times and I have only seen professional handlers and such compassionate love for the all the wild life in the park’s and releasing them back might just be a death sentence for them if they don’t know what or how to do things that would be natural to others but not for them sense they have been trained differently. Some people need to leave well enough alone.

  15. Bonnie Crawford

    These animals should be checked out and observed for a couple of weeks before being released to make sure that they are completely healthy and ready on no.But they should be released.

  16. G.P.Rak

    I actually knew Dawn Brancheau personally..I used to video tape her performances for her at Sea World in Aurora Ohio.I would give them to her so she could watch them over to ensure she was giving it her all. Her mission was to get people closer to nature and thus gain a better understanding of our aquatic and aviary species around us so people would appreciate them more. In return she gave me a season pass, which i enjoyed thoroughly. Looking at it from this perspective I can understand the importance of such experiences. I do believe said animals deserve proper habitats as well as proper relaxation and medical care.if they are being made to suffer cruelty or become ill urgent steps should be taken out of respect for life itself

  17. Melanie Davis

    I believe if they are able to take care of themselves they should be released if not they should be removed where they will be taken care of.

  18. Melanie

    I believe if they are able to take care of themselves they should be released if not they should be removed where they will be taken care of. Most of these animals have been cared for along time and I believe they should remain being taken care of .

  19. BonnieRose

    Emprisoned wild animals is not entertainment.

  20. Kelly Scott

    Give these poor abused animals to facilities that can care for them. They will not survive now in the wild. Depending on their individual circumstances maybe at some point. They deserve to live their lives SAFE and as happy as possible . Seaquarium has been a grungy sideshow of a facility since the 1980s. Why has it taken the county this long to shut them down.

  21. Mitch

    Miranda J has it nearly perfect. Places like Sea World and the Miami Sea Aquarium mentioned in this story are VITAL for researching marine animals, assisting them in recovery, and repopulating dwindling populations. Without a place with the resources, infrastructure, and funds to study and learn about these animals, they would likely become extinct. And Dottie, YES, these places are out to make money because all of the work they do is very, VERY costly. Preservation projects and rescue operations cannot depend on government funding and donations alone. Thus, these theme park situations whereby a LOT more money can be raised while people are being entertained AND also educated at the same time. Think about that…

  22. Judy

    Set them free

    1. Blair

      Considering they should never have been taken in the first place except for the purpose of rehab, the animals that are in danger of dying regardless if set free should be rehomed to a zoo that is well known for it’s best animal care practices. The animals that may fare well back in the wild such as manatees should be set free where they belong back in the wild. In the case of those animals such as dolphins, whales, etc that live in pods or groups should be rehomed as they would be rejected by any pod as a stranger and would most likely die alone without a pod, from despair or a larger predator taking advantage of a lone animal. The whole situation is a damn tragedy. Captivity is never ever a good situation/in the interest of the animals except in rehab situations.

    2. Joann

      I agree. Set them free but if possible put a tracker on em. Close down both parks.

      1. Dee

        The Whales and Dolphins have been at Sea Wolrd for so long that it will be very hard to adust, they will have to get there owne food and try to adjust.

        1. Margaret B

          The resident animals have no skills to survive in the wild.
          They must be rehomed to a reputable “zoo”.

          The Marine Mammal Stranding Center in NJ rehabs mammals to set back to the wild. They are sadly underfunded as I suspect is the story all over the world.

          1. Cat Hoover

            Fir the ones that can be rehabbed for being released into the wild, do it. For the ones that can’t, it makes them great animal ambassadirs for teaching people about them.
            To the idiot that said close both: are you the same idiot that decided to shut down alk phsyciatric care facilities regardless of reputation so we could have more wandering homeless when the aclu idiots went on their rampage?
            There are always going to be creatures that need a place where they won’t get killed while healing. Keep that in mind when reading about the different parks.

        2. Dorothy Radford

          I agree with you they are like pets now just like if I was to let my cat out the door it wouldn’t survive for food or whatever she will get bullied arehabilita

  23. Robin

    Close this place

    1. Margo

      Put them remaining animals in safe place or set them free if possible for them one animal already died

  24. Brenda

    If they are not needed to stay in captivity due to health or other reason , set them free

    1. Carissa

      If the animals are truly in need of rehabilitation, transfer them to a park that will properly care for them AND release them when possible!

  25. Brenda

    If they do not need to stay in captivity due to health or other reasons – release them

  26. Nancy

    They your never meant to be confident

  27. Helen

    Most of them can’t be released as they don’t know how to survive on their own. Find places that are reputable in caring for marine mammals (DRC) and have the animals adopted to those places.

    1. Dorothy Radford

      The animals animals they are like pets now they attached to their trainers their trainers are tested them manatees going to go on your group and they got a place for the manatees to go but the other ones the dolphins the whales they are like pets now they just should go to a safe place don’t sell them out to the wild they probably wouldn’t know how to survive for food they also get into fights and water

  28. It’s a shame that the orka tank is smaller than the parking lot it’s not fair to these whales to be crammed in a small tank this I think is abuse

    1. Adam

      I have zero issues with wildlife parks using injured/could not survive animals for their attractions. I also am for them using endanger species in breeding programs.

    2. Debbie Roberts

      I know I am going to another Seaworld protest. Empty The Tanks. They need to be free.. think if it were you. It’s not fair to make a decision on the animal. A killer whale was alone and got excepted in a pod . Dolphins and killer whales are extremely intelligent animals. They shouldn’t of never been there to begin with over GREED. IT’S the same if someone took your child away. Dolphins go blind get depressed it’s terrible. One was kicked in the face one had a nail in its throat another sea lion died at Miami SEAQUARIUM hell hole! Free them! Now!!!!

  29. Brenda

    There was a time when Miami Seaquarium DID release the majority of their marine wildlife back to the ocean once they completed their rehabilitation. The “permanent’ residents were the ones who couldn’t survive in the wild. I’m sad to hear it’s changed and that they’re being forced to close.

  30. Temba

    Sokath, his eyes closed!

  31. jim

    at one time, it was socially acceptable to house and show these animals, but those days are gone. same thing with the beagles that Dr. Fauci experiments with, they need to be freed and put in good homes, not used by abusive scientist to study a subsahara flea.

  32. Candice

    I would vote to release them if I thought they would survive in the wild, but they probably wouldn’t because they won’t know how to hunt for food having been feed by humans so long & other animals would kill them.

  33. Kris

    They can’t just be set free; they need to be prepared to hunt outside a facility. Rehab the release if possible. But Miami Sea Aquarium should be closed down.

  34. CC

    I appreciate what Governor DeSantis and his Wife are doing in Funding and supporting to restore our springs and protect our Manettees… Thank You very much.. Please include protecting all species in our Wildlife and Habitat…

    As for Sea World Orlando and Miami Sea Aquarium it’s very risky releasing (back into the wild) any of the older Wildlife mammals who have been living in captivity and longtime residency … The have been given caretakers who supply the animals with a very routine lifestyle and food supply… It is most beneficial that these precious highly intelligent and sensitive mammals be transported to an open safe and secure SANCTUARY that will provide the proper support and care of a better life than living in captivating constantly being forced for entertainment purposes… It’s fun for a few.. please remember these incredible creatures are not born to stay in captivity… They developed depression they can get sick with diseases viruses..they get overworked sometimes injuring themselves their tank mates or even the handler or audience…

    We have AI (Artificial Intelligence) and it’s becoming HUGE.. We can utilize AI and produces creative ways to entertain the kids , family, and friends instead of using live wildlife… PLEASE FREE these Wildlife species.. Let them Live in their own habitat and safe Sanctuary environment .

    I have Rescued 🛟 many Wildlife..since a young child. The BEST most Amazing feeling is RELEASING them back Home.. as I am smiling and rejoicing their FREEDOM…

    There are Grants who will Fund AI… A New Prosperous Venue for our Entertainment needs and revenues…

    Let’s Keep our Wildlife Safe and Protect our Environment.


  35. Sean

    I think it would be better to put politicians in these parks. The animals are innocent, politicians are not.

  36. Pam

    I agree set them free unless rehab is needed. They should have never been taken out of the wild.

  37. Gail

    You can’t just put an animal back into the wild. Other animals will sometimes pick on the animal and causing it to die or suffer. The problem is an injured animal needs to be cared for till it’s healed and released back to the wild as soon as possible
    It’s going to take a long time to empty these tourist attractions where the owners made money at the expense of a once wild animal who has become dependent on human care
    What do scientists say about releasing back to the wild. Can’t we try and give them the most free habit till we can see if they can make it on their own without becoming a victim to stronger wild animals?

  38. Melanie 👸🏻👑

    I think if the animals are completely rehabilitated and ready to go back into the wild, they should be released. If they require more rehabilitation the place them it the best fitting facility until they are ready to be reallocated to the wild. They have shown poor care and the animals definitely should not remain under their watch.

  39. Chris

    Since the Dolphin Company has other facilities then perhaps they need to export them and the staff from the Miami Seaquarium and have them moved to the other facilities as the animals need to have more suitable homes to reside at and the staff to have jobs with the other sister companies. Or they should be moved to other facilities in Florida more suitable like Sea World Orlando where Clarity the manatee resides at and maybe later on they can take in Romeo from Zoo Tampa or just leave him there. Other facilities such as Everglades Alligator Farms and Zoo Tampa could take in the reptiles, birds and alligators and crocodiles. As the marine animals can go to other facilities with other marine animals as that would make sense. The Dolphin Company did not do anything for the Miami Seaquarium so it’s too late to even try to fox the facility it’s already too old and too late to do anything now as the plan for losing Lolita to a seapen in Washington was more of a fall and stood no chance, but like the manatees and the pacific white sided dolphins got their chances of new homes hopefully the other animals will too and the staff for new jobs. Send them to other facilities and have the property of the closing parks be used for a Flipper mini golf course and a 4D Theatre to have the fans of Flipper be on a 4D adventure under the water and to escape from sharks until Flipper and the dolphins come to save the person. A Flipper gift shop and a recreation park and gardens and hotels and a skate away be nice replacements for the property. I sadly never been to Miami Seaquarium, but I enjoyed seeing Flipper the tv series as a child. Sea World parks always stood stronger and better so they have my support although I haven t been to Sea World since the five th grade.

  40. Walter Bondarchuk

    Set them free if capable to survive on their own and move others to better facilities or clean up the problems. Each needs to be evaluated weather to be released or maintained.

  41. Mike

    This is dumb, SeaWorld is the largest sea animal rescue organization in the world. They rescue and release manatees all the time, it is what they do unless the animal.

  42. Y’all are sad

    You all look like morons posting your opinions about SeaWorld on a site that I guarantee no one in the state government cares about 😂😂

    1. Dan

      Is it not moronic to deal with who you percieve as a moron?

  43. Phil K

    These creatures need the full and proper care. Most nowknow nothing but being provided with food and care and to put them into the wild would be criminal. Find them homes in other parks and set a time line to make it happen. Miami should be closed and the leadership prevented from a role in another aquarium..

    1. Jane

      Totally agree! What happened to Tokitae and orcas at SeaWorld Orlando (as documented on Blackfish) qas heartbreaking. Animals are not here for our entertainment!

  44. Roger

    There are experts in the field who specialize in whether is is advisable, wise and safe to release these animals into the wild. To pose this question to the general public as if public opinion is somehow relevant is frankly quite stupid.

  45. Leslie Ann Wilder n Wilder

    Set free!!

  46. Marci

    I cannot pass a judgment as to whether these animals would make it in the wild. The experts must make that decision. I can only hope there are resources to find the best place for them. Hopefully many will be free.

  47. Stuart

    I think the Miami Seaquaroum should continue to be supported to care for its resident animals and continue to educate the public about sea animals. Let’s focus on how humans harm water habitats around the world with pollution and change the way we live.

  48. Scott

    I think Rhonda santis needs to stay out of the amusement park business when it comes to Shamu show. I think he needs to stick with working with Disney and getting them cleaned up before he works with SeaWorld too many people are focused on the poor animals at SeaWorld but not focused on the poor children at Disneyland they seem to not care what happens to the children at Disneyland but they care what happens to the animals before children if it’s me I would stick with focusing on Disney and getting them back on the track of being in the business of making family-friendly stuff instead of going after SeaWorld which is made amazing shows I miss the Shamu show it was one of my favorite shows I haven’t gone back to SeaWorld since they got rid of it I have no desire that was the only show I went to go see and it was my favorite seems like the pita keeps winning

  49. Rob Red

    I think we should let the Fed Govt take over and oversee the operations. They do a fantastic job and it would be eye opening to see what their (over)reach would look like with animals in captivity!

  50. Rylee

    I believe that the animals should be released into the wild, not sent to yet another theme park prison to be exploited and live out their lives in misery. I love theme parks, and do not believe that places such as seaworld , seaquarium or any others similar in category are true Theme parks . I do not believe that any such as these should remain. I am a scuba diver and am Thankful for the privilege and my experiences underwater. There is an abundance of video to be seen by anyone who cannot see these amazing creatures in their own habitat. I believe that any rehab facility for sea creatures should be small scale and absolutely temporary. Countless sea creatures have suffered unspeakable evil and died at the hands of greedy wretches who profit financially as owners, co owners etc of “theme parks” that are allowed to imprison them in the name of “rehabilitation”.

  51. Susi

    I think animals who would make it in the wild should be released there, but I’m sure there might be some better off in better care, bigger space! That of course needs to be judged by experts who would know best for each individual.

  52. Mary

    What is wrong you people, most of these animals were BORN and raised in captivity, they know NOTHING about how to live in the wild, let alone catch their food, They will die from hunger or get killed by other predators. You are so worried about them be held in captivity, focus on what will happen to them if set Free! A punishment to them!!

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