Manatee examination Observations on a manatee
Benefits of Rescue Program


All SeaWorld parks are accredited members of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA). AZA members share information and work to further wildlife conservation. Stranded animals are a valuable source of information and study.


Studies of stranded animals provide an opportunity to gather valuable information that can't be obtained by studying wild, free-ranging individuals. Data recovered from stranded animals helps scientists better understand features of animal: parasitology, pathogens, physiology, life history, behavior, concentrations and possible effects of various contaminants.

Observing and treating stranded animals helps veterinarians study animal diseases.

Animal care experts gather husbandry information and further the field of animal husbandry as they fine-tune care-giving and medical procedures.

Conservation & Wildlife Management

Data gathered through the Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Program can help scientists more accurately assess population management programs in the wild. This information may help threatened and endangered species.

Rescuing endangered species such as sea turtles, sea otters, and manatees contributes directly to species conservation.


The community benefits through added awareness of how human actions, both good and bad, affect animals. This awareness is the first step toward educating the community about ways to conserve and protect wildlife.

If you see a stranded animal...

Anyone without specific authorization through National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) or U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) is prohibited from moving marine mammals — dead or alive.

Do not approach it or try to return it to the water. Wild animals — whether healthy or in need of help — can become alarmed by the presence of humans, and may bite.

If you are first on the scene or if the animal has not yet been reported, notify the local marine mammal rehabilitation center. Take note of details such as the location of the animal.

  • SeaWorld San Diego is part of the West Coast Marine Mammal Stranding Network. Members of the public, lifeguards, and other individuals report strandings to SeaWorld's rescue hotline (800-541-SEAL) and SeaWorld team members respond, using guidelines governed by NMFS.
  • Stranded animals in Florida can be reported by calling the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (888-404-3922). Cellular phone uses can call *FWC or #FWC. If you are first on the scene or if the animal has not yet been reported, call and take note of details such as the location of the animal, its condition and physical characteristics (to help determine the species and what equipment and volunteers are needed).
  • SeaWorld San Antonio is part of the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network. The hotline is 800-9MAMMAL (800-962-6625). To report a stranded sea turtle, call the Texas Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network at 361-949-8173 ext. 226.