It’s That Time Again: Hurricane Season! So, How Do We Prepare?
June-November is storm season in the Caribbean, and just as many families along the coasts or on islands have evacuation plans, so do Coral World’s sea lions. We can’t leave our boys out in a storm, as you can imagine it wouldn’t be too fun for them. So how do we protect our four South American Sea Lions?
Our Marine Gardens exhibit room doubles as a sea lion hurricane shelter! This concrete building is sturdy enough to withstand even the largest storms, is air conditioned to keep the animals cool, and provides enough space for all of them to share comfortably. Now that we have a place to shelter our sea lions, the second question is how do we get them inside? There is a path that leads from their pools to the Marine Gardens building, so it should be easy to get the boys inside, right? Actually, it can be very challenging.
The noise and rain accompanying a storm can be a stressful situation for the sea lions. In addition, the Marine Gardens can be a potentially scary place; it’s dark, completely enclosed, and far from the comfort of their pools. The secret is to turn this scary room into a positive, fun place. Each of our animals participates in daily public presentations, which take place inside the Marine Gardens. They get to play, interact, and show off for our guests. These shows are lots of fun and they allow the sea lions to practice entering the Marine Gardens without the stress of a major storm outside.
For Coral World’s guests, presentations provide an opportunity to see our wonderful sea lions up close and personal. But the next time you watch a show, remember that it’s also a chance for us to train them and show them that the room isn’t scary. Ensuring our animals’ safety is priority for us during this time of year, and public presentations allow us to do that.