Orphaned Manatee Calf Starts Her New Life in the Wild as SeaWorld’s Rescue, Rehabilitation and Return Program Comes Full Circle for Blanche the Manatee

A female short-finned pilot whale has a second chance at life after an extensive and complex return to the sea. The 725 lb. whale beached herself in Dixie County, FL on July 1. Discovered by beach goers, rescue teams from the University of Florida and Clearwater Marine Aquarium assisted the whale and transported her to SeaWorld Orlando for continued medical intervention and rehabilitation.

Upon arrival, the pilot whale began to receive 24 hour care from SeaWorld’s dedicated veterinary and animal care teams. Everyone had the goal to release her back to the wild and through ongoing care and laser-focused attention, along with regular input and evaluation from NOAA and the partners in the Southeast Region Marine Mammal Stranding Network, the release became a reality. 





 

The pilot whale responded well to her treatment and began to show signs of improvement almost immediately. Upon arrival, she was able to successfully swim on her own and within one day, she began to eat fish.

Together with NOAA, the SeaWorld team made arrangements to return the pilot whale to the sea. Plans were made to release her 140 miles off the West Coast of Florida in an area of known pilot whale habitat. Pilot whales live in deep water and are social animals that travel together in pods. The release spot will give her a good chance to join other pilot whales.

To ensure the pilot whale was returned safely and carefully, the U.S. Coast Guard assisted with the complex transport. The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Joshua Appleby, along with a team of five members of SeaWorld’s rescue team, worked together on the multifaceted mission. On Tuesday morning, August 8, the pilot whale, nicknamed “Gale” by the crew of the Joshua Appleby, was successfully returned to the Gulf of Mexico.

“We all watched her strongly swim away,” shared Dr. Lara Croft, veterinarian, SeaWorld Orlando, who escorted the pilot whale through every step of her rescue journey. “This story has been a true collaboration and we worked together with many dedicated partners. We are proud to be a part of this rescue, rehabilitation and successful release. This truly is why we all do what we do.”

Prior to her release, the pilot whale was tagged with a satellite-linked transmitter by researchers with the Chicago Zoological Society’s Sarasota Dolphin Research Program. The tag will allow researchers and rescuers to follow her movements and dive patterns for the next several months. 

Pilot whales, are members of the dolphin family, and are second only to killer whales in size. Short-finned pilot whales are found worldwide in warmer temperate and tropical waters. Pilot whales are extremely social, and are well known for mass stranding in groups of a few animals to several hundred at a time.

NOAA encourages people to report sightings of dead, injured, or entangled dolphins and whales to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 1-888-404-FWCC (3922).

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“Ash vs Evil Dead” Debuts Coming to Halloween Horror Nights 2017

Ah vs WEvil Dead at Halloween Horror Nights 2017

For the first time ever, the critically-acclaimed television series “Ash vs Evil Dead” from Starz, a Lionsgate company, will summon Deadites to a new haunted maze at Halloween Horror Nights 2017 at Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood, beginning September 15.

The “Ash vs Evil Dead” maze will transport guests into the town of Elk Grove, Mich., where they will encounter Deadites – people or objects possessed by evil demons – that have been unwittingly unleashed by Ash Williams – again.  Throughout the maze, guests will come face-to-face with disturbing characters and iconic comedic and gory scenes from seasons 1 and 2 as they desperately try to escape all things evil…before it’s too late.

The STARZ Original Series “Ash vs Evil Dead” is a follow-up to the original The Evil Dead movie, which has long been regarded as a cult classic since its debut in 1981. Starring Bruce Campbell, who reprises his role as “Ash Williams,” the series has amassed a huge fan base and was renewed for a third season by STARZ. Catch up on the STARZ APP.

Universal Studios’ “Halloween Horror Nights” is the ultimate Halloween event. For more than 20 years, guests from around the world have visited Halloween Horror Nights in Orlando and Hollywood to become victims of their own horror film. The streets of each coast’s event are transformed into highly-themed scare zones where menacing “scare-actors” lunge from every darkened corner. Multiple movie-quality haunted houses are erected throughout the event, based on everything from iconic slasher films to hit horror television series to haunting original stories.

Get a sneak peek at what’s in-store for this Deadite infested experience:

Additional details about Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights 2017 will be revealed soon. For more information about Halloween Horror Nights 2017 at either Universal Orlando Resort or Universal Studios Hollywood, visit www.HalloweenHorrorNights.com.

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“Ash vs Evil Dead” Debuts at Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights 2017

August 10, 2017

“Ash vs Evil Dead” Debuts Coming to Halloween Horror Nights 2017 For the first time ever, the critically-acclaimed television series “Ash vs Evil Dead” from Starz, a Lionsgate company, will summon Deadites to a new haunted maze at Halloween Horror Nights 2017 at Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood, beginning September 15. The “Ash vs […]

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What’s Happening at Walt Disney World This Fall?

August 8, 2017

A Bounty of Festive Fall Offerings in Season at Walt Disney World Resort As the summer season winds down, festive fall happenings ramp up at Walt Disney World Resort with standout events, new eateries, and an out-of-this-world land where banshees fly and mountains float. The Vacation Kingdom is the place to celebrate the golden days of the […]

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Watch an Epic New Trailer for the Revenge of the Mummy Roller Coaster

August 8, 2017

Everyone has their favorite Universal Orlando Resort ride. For me, that ride is the Revenge of the Mummy roller coaster. And rightfully so, as Revenge of the Mummy is the most award-winning attraction at any of the parks. Honestly, it’s the most thrilling indoor coaster you will ever experience. Not to mention the striking architectural […]

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Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire Hyper-Reality Experience at Disney Parks

August 7, 2017

Lucasfilm, ILMxLAB and The VOID Announce New Hyper-Reality Experience, Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire Lucasfilm, ILMxLAB and The VOID today announced the new Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire hyper-reality experience. This ground-breaking experience will open to the public at two new VOID Experience Centers at Downtown Disney at Disneyland Resort and Disney Springs […]

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7 Things You HAVE to Do in Islands of Adventure’s Marvel Super Hero Island

August 7, 2017

Straight from the pages of popular comic books, a land of thrills comes to life in Universal Orlando Resort’s Marvel Super Hero Island at Islands of Adventure. But before you head towards the fun, it’s time to plan. Here are the activities you can’t miss! Get Hulkified on The Incredible Hulk Coaster Prepare to let […]

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Two Exciting New Ways to Get Around at Disney World

August 3, 2017

Looking for ways to get around at Disney? Here are a few ideas (including one that’s coming soon!) Minnie Van Service Now Available Resort Wide A new transportation service featuring vans themed to the oneand-only Minnie Mouse will soon be taking you everywhere you want to go at the Walt Disney World Resort. Just arrange a […]

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Two Exciting New Ways to Get Around at Disney World

August 3, 2017

Looking for ways to get around at Disney? Here are a few ideas (including one that’s coming soon!) Minnie Van Service Now Available Resort Wide A new transportation service featuring vans themed to the oneand-only Minnie Mouse will soon be taking you everywhere you want to go at the Walt Disney World Resort. Just arrange a […]

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Orlando Science Center Hosts Solar Eclipse Viewing and Activities

August 1, 2017

All over the United States, people will turn to the sky on Monday, August 21 to watch the moon totally eclipse the sun for the first time in 99 years. Central Florida will experience the eclipse at 85% totality, and Orlando Science Center is celebrating with a full lineup of activities and programs, both at […]

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