Friday, April 17, 2009

Shamu Joins the Twitter Community

It is the latest craze that has swallowed up your favorite actors, politicians, and John Mayer. And now, even a star of SeaWorld Orlando has jumped on the bandwagon known as Twitter. Shamu, the black and white orca making a daily splash at the Orlando theme park, began posting to the free social network/micro-blogging community last week, and he’s already attracted close to 1,000 followers. In addition to clicks, squeaks, whistles, and trills, it would seem that the killer whale can also communicate via tweets, and he’s done plenty of that on a variety of topics.

“It turns out Shamu has a lot to say,” said Joe Couceiro, Chief Marketing Officer for SeaWorld’s parent company, Busch Entertainment Corp. “We knew he was a very popular whale, but I’m not sure anyone knew just how many subjects he held opinions on.”

Writing under the handle “RealShamu,” Shamu has twittered on topics such as Moroccan tree goats, Brazilian soccer teams, pubs in the English countryside, and the paint scheme on Southwest Airlines planes. The killer whale also disseminates a healthy dose of information about whale life, in addition to geography, anatomy, architecture, current events, history, and even punctuation. Who knew Shamu was so smart?

The killer whale has also shown himself to have a quick wit, too, commenting frequently on the overratedness of dolphins – a species he characterizes as “all hat and no cattle.”

And how, you might wonder, can a massive 8,000-pound whale with no discernible fingers to speak of type and make posts on Twitter?

“I have assistants, as you would expect of a whale of my stature,” Shamu has said to the often-posed question. Shamu also added that saltwater was detrimental to computers and cellphones, making human assistants particularly necessary.

Since signing on to Twitter, the killer whale has received a variety of questions from SeaWorld fans. For example, when recently asked if he likes to eat lobsters, Shamu declined via Twitter and explained, “They’re pinchy.”

In addition to being a way for the voice of SeaWorld to communicate with fans, Twitter is an interactive and unique new form of marketing for the park. Couceiro states that the online network is even allowing SeaWorld to enhance guests’ experiences in the park. “We’ve had visitors tweet with suggestions, problems, questions, photos, video, even jokes for Shamu – while they’re inside SeaWorld, Discovery Cove, or Busch Gardens."

Still, Shamu doesn’t spend all his time on Twitter. When he’s not communicating with his online friends, Shamu can be seen daily in SeaWorld’s revolutionary production, “Believe.” Taking place on an elaborate 3-story set, “Believe” features Shamu and the entire SeaWorld family of majestic killer whales performing awe-inspiring choreography with an original musical score by the Prague National Symphony Orchestra.

Guests can also get up close and personal with Shamu during Dine With Shamu, a VIP experience where they can eat alongside killer whales, dine with Shamu trainers, ask questions, and observe training sessions in an exclusive themed area.

To read Shamu’s latest nugget of whale wisdom, check out And don’t forget to purchase discount SeaWorld tickets from to meet your favorite orca in person and witness his amazing talents. Just be careful not to mention dolphins to him.


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