As the only traveling sea lion exhibit in the United States, "Sea Lion Splash" is a fun and unique sea lion performance showcasing California and South American sea lions!
Squalus Inc. has been involved in and is conducting extensive research on nutrition and behavior patterns of these marine mammals. Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium and Squalus Inc. have teamed up and been working together to further study and educate the public about beach stranded sea lions.
Squalus Inc. is one of the few groups that are approved to take in beached stranded sea lions. We are involved with research at Mote Marine Laboratory (Research Center and Aquarium). Squalus Inc. is fully licensed by three federal agencies: National Marine Fisheries Department, Florida Fish and Game & Widlife Services, and the United States Department of Agriculture
"Sea Lion Splash" is an exciting and one of a kind traveling sea lion exhibit. Squalus Inc. was first established when Marco Peters began adopting a providing a home for sea lions who were unable to survive in the wild because of sickness, age, or injuries. Marco's passion for sea lions led him to educate the public on the need to coexist with these special marine mammals in harmony. Thus, began the journey of the "Sea Lion Splash" which now travels all over North America entertaining thousands of people each year. This unique show is truly one of a kind, being the only sea lion show which features both California sea lions and South American sea lions. This incredible show features sea lions performing entertaining and educational tricks including handstands, balancing balls, flips, dancing, smiling, and even teaching kids how to recycle!
For the guests that like to get up close and personal with the sea lions, there is a unique photo opportunity that is available after most presentations. Squalus Inc. also offers a once-in a lifetime opportunity to have one-on-one training, introductions to the sea lion family, and even a behind the scenes look at their daily routine! The "Sea Lion Experience" is only offered on a limited time basis depending on the travel schedule of the Sea Lion Splash.
When the Sea Lion Splash exhibit is not on the road, our sea lion stars enjoy the life of leisure at their permanent home in Myakka City, Florida. It is here where the animals spend most their days playing and socializing with each other and their trainers. This is a very important role as individuals, as well as a unit. They love the comfort of their own home as they enjoy spacious pools and lots of care and attention.
As expected, the sea lion stars have earned some attention from the media, gracing newspaper covers, magazines, and have even been featured in television commercials! The sea lions are very comfortable in front of a camera and will perform, sing, and pose with news talent.
Sea Lion Splash has traveled to aquariums, theme parks, fairs, and even corporate meetings! Our one of a kind mobile units allow us to travel to you with ease and we can even create a custom park unit at your venue. As an extremely affordable attraction, the Sea Lion Splash provides non-stop fun and will have the crowd cheering and on their feet in no time!
Marco Peters, the founder of Squalus, used to operate a touring shark exhibit with his brother, until one day a marine mammal rescue center mistakenly called him about two stranded sea lions. The call inspired Peters, who took a year to build facilities and receive the necessary credentials and permits to form Squalus Sea Lion Splash. Now, Peters has 10 sea lions, almost all rescues, divided among four facilities: two mobile units that travel the country to state fairs and zoos, a permanent facility in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and a private base of operations in Myakka City, where Peters and the sea lions rest between trips.
Peters says many state fairs reported all-time attendance and spending records this year, meaning ticket sales have been more than enough to cover the high costs of touring (diesel, fish and salt-for making fresh water hospitable to sea lions-are the biggest expenses). Keeping the animals safe and comfortable, not to mention arriving at the next show on time, is an ongoing challenge, requiring Peters to be meticulously organized."If you organize everything it just runs better," he says."You can´t afford to sit on the side of the road with four sea lions because you didn´t get an oil change."
Born in Holland, Peters moved to Sarasota in the 1980s to work with the Ringling Bros. circus. He is especially proud of the new Mote exhibit."To bring this to my hometown for six months is a very high honor," he says. "It´s going to be terrific."