SeaWorld has had a long standing presence on several national televisions shows. Julie Scardina, SeaWorld/Busch Gardens Animal Ambassador and a corporate curator of the Animal Training department, has made numerous appearances on shows such as the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and the Today Show. As we expand our presence in the world of TV, more animal ambassadors are needed to represent the company on other shows. I was honored to have been chosen to bring some amazing animals to the Live! with Regis and Kelly show. To commemorate World Oceans Day and to celebrate water and bring more awareness to our impact upon it, we brought a collection of animals that inhabit bodies of water and introduced them to Regis and Kelly and their viewers. It was quite an experience!
A whole team of people made the appearance possible. Our Marketing and Public Relations departments established relationships with the producers of the show. The SeaWorld/Bush Gardens Animal Ambassador Team provided animals to travel to New York for the appearance. How do you get two penguins, one flamingo, and a pelican across country, you ask? We’ve teamed up with partners in the airline industry to fly our animals to their destination, in the cabin with the other passengers. They even get their own boarding passes!
When the day of the appearance arrived I was excited (and admittedly a bit nervous) to meet the stars of one of the most popular and beloved TV talk shows. We arrived to the studios in downtown New York and prepared for our appearance. Kelly Ripa was the first to arrive. She approached us and was genuinely excited about and interested in the animals, and she was eager for her little daughter to meet some of the animals. Equally as impressive off-screen was Regis Philbin, who asked me about my wonderful job and the animals that we brought. In short, they were both wonderful! They and their team welcomed us, interacted with the animals, and provided us the opportunity allow millions of their viewers to make a connection with some terrific SeaWorld animals. It was a fantastic experience, one that I will cherish the memory of and one that will hopefully not be the last of its kind.