The new owners of Marineland, who closed the Palos Verdes Peninsula aquatic park last week, said Friday they will continue to operate an animal care center at the park.
In a one-sentence statement, the owners, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, said the center, which cares for beached and stranded marine mammals, will remain open under the supervision of the Sea World medical staff. Harcourt also owns the Sea World aquatic parks.
Harcourt did not say how long the care center would remain open, and Dr. Lanny Cornell, Sea World's zoological director who wrote the statement, could not be reached for comment.
A number of Marineland supporters pressured the company in recent weeks to keep the center open. The supporters feared that injured and weakened animals could not be safely transported to other Sea World parks.
The center, opened in 1978, has nine kennels, three holding pools, a laboratory, a pharmacy and a bird recovery area. In the past two years, 275 animals and 186 birds have been cared for at the center, according to Marineland officials.