Thursday, August 27, 2009
No matter what part of the country my business travels may take me during the workweek, be it the urban maze of New York, the wilds of Alaska, the mountains of Colorado or the swamps of the Carolinas, I’ve always made it a point of getting back to Southern California in time to cover my Saturday volunteer shift at the Aquarium of the Pacific. Sometimes it’s meant taking a late red-eye flight or finding an unusual connection through tiny airports but somehow the majority of the times I’ve managed to make it back to cover my shift. In fact this month I’ve recorded my 5000th hour as a volunteer at the Aquarium.
To commemorate this personal milestone this week’s blog is a list of the top ten reasons why I’ve volunteered so many hours to the Aquarium.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
One of my newer duties at the Aquarium of the Pacific is to work with the sea otters in their home in the Northern Pacific Gallery. As I build my relationship with the otters and learn more about their personalities, I am beginning to interact with them using some of the more important husbandry behaviors that allows the staff to check over the animals health. Husbandry behaviors are behaviors that are taught to an animal to allow their human caretakers to monitor their health without causing undo stress.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
One of the wonderful benefits of aquariums and zoos is that they allow some rescued wildlife a second chance at life. I at one time spent over a decade rescuing and rehabilitating wild marine mammals, so I know first hand that without these institutions many critters might have a disability or personality traits that would keep them from making it in the wild.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Just like human kids, young sea lions have a lot of energy. Because of this, the trainers at the Aquarium of the Pacific are teaching our young sea lions high energy behaviors to keep them mentally and physically fit.
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
Southern Sea Otters, aka California Sea Otters, like the one’s on exhibit at the Aquarium of the Pacific, never experience snow or ice in their natural habitat. Just like native Southern Californian going up to the mountains to experience a real winter for the first time, romping around ice and snow holds a strange fascination for Southern sea otters. This week’s video includes a cute video of one of our otters playing in a patch of ice.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
From an otter carefully grooming her fur to a porcupine enjoying a ride on his keeper’s arm; sometimes the beauty of an animal can best be seen in slow motion. This week’s blog includes a video of some of the Aquarium’s critters viewed in slow motion.
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
Since I’ve started working up close with the Aquarium’s sea otters I’ve noticed a few things about these furry critters that I hadn’t known before. This week’s blog is on 5 things about sea otters that I bet you didn’t know.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
On May 16th 1989 a female harbor seal was born in Brooklyn, New York. She was named Elga in honor of a local philanthropist. In 1998 Elga found her way to California where she helped open the new Aquarium of the Pacific as one of the main attractions in the Southern California Baja Gallery. At the Long Beach-based Aquarium, the seal’s East Coast sounding Elga became the more SoCal sounding Ellie. On May 16th, 2009 the Saturday marine mammal crew celebrated her 20th birthday.
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
Based on my totally unscientific calculations more than one million visitors have seen our seal and sea lion presentations and our eldest sea lion has eaten over a hundred thousand herring while here at the Aquarium of the Pacific. This week’s blog not only includes the Pinniped Exhibit by the numbers, but also an update on Ellie the Harbor Seal’s upcoming 20th birthday.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Although during the weekend of the Long Beach Grand Prix the Aquarium of the Pacific is closed, the animals still need to be cared for and necessary facility maintenance can be taken care of. For a husbandry volunteer it may look like a thankless job to be working in an empty aquarium while the roar and excitement of the Grand Prix Celebrity race are just yards away outside the front entrance but in reality its a day that veteran volunteers look forward to. Its one of the few times of the year that the husbandry staff has the Aquarium critters to themselves and, after the necessary chores are done, can have a days worth of playtime with the animals.