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Aquarium Blog | Hugh

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Conservation | Volunteering | Birds

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Make Way For Ducklings | Hugh  buttonLink

Make Way For Ducklings

The staff at the Aquarium not only talks the talk when it comes to protecting Nature—-they also walk the walk and for a family of ducks, they were their Guardian Angels. This is the story of how three husbandry staffers helped a female Mallard and her eight ducklings make it through the urban jungle of Long Beach and safely to the water in the Aquarium of the Pacific’s version of MAKE WAY FOR DUCKLINGS.

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Volunteering | Mammals

Thursday, May 08, 2008

The Seal that Rescued a Rescuer | Hugh  buttonLink

The Seal that Rescued a Rescuer

I’ve been asked by visitors to the Aquarium what my favorite pinniped is. Most of them expect my answer to be either the California sea lion (like Miller) or the Harbor seal (like Ellie) because of how much I work and play with these critters. They are surprised when I tell them that the Elephant seal is actually my favorite. This is the story of how a young elephant seal once saved this volunteer from a mauling by a pack of wild animals.

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Volunteering | Fish

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

SKIPPY THE MUDSKIPPER | Hugh  buttonLink

SKIPPY THE MUDSKIPPER

In an odd paradox; when one visits the home of Skippy the Mudskipper one has to look underwater for snakes and above water for fish. Skippy and his mudskipper buddies are quite entertaining to watch so this week’s blog also includes a video of Skippy who acts more like a dog than a fish.

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Volunteering | Mammals

Thursday, April 10, 2008

How to Train a Sea Lion (and a Rabbit) | Hugh  buttonLink

How to Train a Sea Lion (and a Rabbit)

Just because you don’t have a handy sea lion around doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun training animals. Any critter can be trained as long as you know what makes it happy!

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Conservation | Volunteering | Fish | Invertebrates | Mammals

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

ODE TO A BOX OF SQUID | Hugh  buttonLink

ODE TO A BOX OF SQUID

“Calamari in my hand—-
Fancy name bestowed by man.
Kids will eat it with a bib—-
To a seal it’s just a squid.”

The story of Loligo opalescens—-aka Calamari or Market Squid

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Conservation | Birds | Mammals | Reptiles

Monday, March 17, 2008

Up Close and Personal-The Program Animals | Hugh  buttonLink

Up Close and Personal-The Program Animals

Lola is a cockatoo. How do I know this? Because Lola told me that he was. When program keeper Melissa had the bird on her arm and asked Lola “What are you?” Lola replied “COCKTOO!” Lola is one of the many program animals that our staff takes around the aquarium to interact with guests.

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Diving | Volunteering | Mammals

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

SWIMMING WITH SEA LIONS | Hugh  buttonLink

SWIMMING WITH SEA LIONS

Some of my fondest memories of volunteering at the Aquarium of the Pacific come from the impromptu enrichment swims that we use to do in the Seal and Sea Lion Exhibit. I remember floating in the water nose to nose with a sea lion only inches away from my mask as we both lazily bobbed just under the surface with the critter looking upon me with a gaze of familiarity that only comes from years of working with an animal.

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Volunteering | Birds | Mammals | Sharks | Turtles

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

HUGH’S SATURDAY WITH THE CRITTERS | Hugh  buttonLink

HUGH’S SATURDAY WITH THE CRITTERS

For those of you who wonder what I actually do during my Saturday marine mammal shift at the Aquarium of the Pacific, this week’s blog is a rundown of my day.

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Conservation | Education | Mammals

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Tracking a Seal by Satellite | Hugh  buttonLink

Tracking a Seal by Satellite

Back in the summer of 1999, a visitor watching our sea lions swim past the pinniped tunnel at the Aquarium of the Pacific mentioned to me that she had taken a vacation up to Hearst Castle recently and while there had seen elephant seals resting on the beach. She noticed that a few had faded orange tags on their flippers and that one of the seals had a tag that read 3709. The number sounded familiar so I looked it up in my records. It was quite a revelation. The seal that the woman saw on the beach was “Mac”, an elephant seal that I helped track by satellite two years before. I thought it might be cool to share with everyone the details of Mac’s voyage that year.

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Conservation | Birds

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

SAVING AFRICAN PENGUINS | Hugh  buttonLink

SAVING AFRICAN PENGUINS

On June 23, 2000, an ecological disaster occurred when the ore carrier MV Treasure sank off the coast of South Africa between Dassen and Robben Islands near Cape Town which supported two of the largest colonies of the African Penguin (Spheniscus demerus) in the world. Tens of thousands of penguins were in danger of dying from the oil that was surrounding their breeding beaches. A cry went out worldwide to zoos and aquariums for assistance. They sought the expertise of these facilities to help deal with this disaster. The Aquarium of the Pacific responded to the call by sending their aviculturist Karen Anderson.

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