Senior Trainer Valerie Greene, a New Hampshire native and a graduate of Rollins College, has been working at SeaWorld Orlando for nine years.
Valerie has worked at Shamu Stadium, Whale & Dolphin Theater, and in the Animal Ambassador department. She currently works at Sea Lion & Otter Stadium.
What inspired your interest in SeaWorld?
I came to SeaWorld for the first time when I was 4 years old and saw the Shamu show. I was amazed at how the whales responded to the trainers and the clear connection they shared. From that point on, I knew I wanted to work with animals.
What areas of SeaWorld have you worked in?
I have been at all the stadiums here at SeaWorld Orlando. I have worked with almost every marine mammal species here at SeaWorld.
What is your educational background?
The best degree to go into a career in Animal Training is Psychology or Biology. However, I have a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Rollins College, which has come in handy here at SeaWorld as I enjoy writing about our training techniques.
What do you enjoy most about your job at SeaWorld?
Every day I get the opportunity to work with the most amazing animals and team of people. I am extremely fortunate to be living my dream. Some of the best memories I have are getting to travel with our Animal Ambassador Otters. The one-on-one connections the otters make with people across the country are invaluable; they inspire people to care.
What is your favorite animal to work with? Do you have any animal interactions that are particularly memorable for you?
All of the animals are my favorites! I particularly enjoy working with young animals; getting the opportunity to see them grow and learn throughout my career. I had an opportunity to help rehabilitate 3 pilot whale calves after a mass stranding in 2012. Watching those animals grow and thrive after they got a second chance at life was the most rewarding experience in my career here at SeaWorld.
We’ve seen you on several SeaRescue episodes. How did you come to be involved in the show?
I became involved with SeaRescue after being part of the pilot whale rehabilitation in 2012. I really enjoy being able to tell the stories about such amazing animals and the dedicated people who care for them day in and day out.
What do you think is the most important thing SeaWorld park guests can learn from visiting SeaWorld?
It is so important for people to come visit SeaWorld! The connections guests can make can inspire them to care more for different animal species as well as care for the environment. Our parks showcase incredible animals with incredible stories. As conservationist Baba Dioum said, “In the end we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught.” I wholeheartedly agree.
We wholeheartedly thank Valerie Greene for taking the time for this interview. We also thank SeaWorld’s Director of Animal Training, Kelly Flaherty Clark, for helping to make this interview possible. It was truly an honor for us to feature this exclusive interview with Valerie.