This Fourth of July weekend, take a trip to see some rescue mammals the whole family will love. They’ve got big dark eyes, stage presence in spades, and the ability to put on a heck of a show.
Yep, they’re sea lions. And they make the trip to Kentucky Kingdom & Hurricane Bay totally worth it.
But they’re not the only animal-themed attraction at Jefferson County’s renowned amusement park. There’s a free "flying bird" show, too—Avian Adventure. And while an Andean Condor might not be quite as cute a sea lion, it’s every bit as impressive.
SEA LION SPLASH!
Perhaps (because you’re a good person and all) the first thing that came to mind when I mentioned the sea lions was, “Man, I hope they’re well taken care of.” You can rest easy—they are.
Our mammalian performers come courtesy of Squalus, a nationally credited marine mammal facility that is one of only a few organizations approved to take in beached, malnourished, and/or abandoned sea lions. Squalus has worked with many aquariums and zoos around the country to provide homes for these sea lions. It uses the Sea Lion Splash as an opportunity to inform audiences about their important work preserving sea lions’ natural habitats.
Regarding the show itself, it’s all about the chemistry between the rescues and their handlers. They’ve grown tight bonds traveling coast to coast. These bonds allow the sea lions to feel comfortable showing off their playful natures in front of a live audience. The result is a display that’s equal parts entertaining and educational.
But the fun doesn’t stop there, at least as far as the sea lions are concerned. They have spacious pools to play in between shows, and they receive around-the-clock care and attention. Not that they always need it—sea lions sleep 12 hours per day. But it’s certainly nice to know for the other 12 hours they’re kept movin’ and groovin’.
The Sea Lion Splash runs through August 14.
Consider the Andean Condor. It’s the largest flying bird in the world, which means watching it soar around the outdoor amphitheater will be an experience in grandeur.
Now consider the African Eagle. These exotic birds are a fair bit smaller than their Andean friends. But what they lack in size, they more than make up for with graceful acrobatics and (sorry Mr. Condor) unrivaled handsomeness.
Not to be outdone, the show’s other birds include dancing cranes, crooning parrots, and a few very vocal cuckoos. Taken together, they comprise a half-hour spectacle of delightful sounds and glorious plumage that can serve as a blissful diversion from the park’s thrill rides—or the main feature of your trip to Kentucky Kingdom & Hurricane Bay.
Kentucky Kingdom & Hurricane Bay is located at 937 Phillips Lane (40209) in Louisville, Kentucky.