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 23, 2009
Just the other day I was talking to Alicia, my whale watching partner, and we were discussing how I haven’t seen any Risso’s dolphins this summer. Risso’s dolphins are usually here all summer long, and it’s not uncommon to see them on a trip when we’re looking for blue whales. Well I guess the Risso’s dolphins heard me because that’s all I’ve seen the last couple of days. More than I’ve EVER seen, and even better, they were mingling with bottlenose dolphins!!!
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.
Thursday, July 09, 2009
Although the blue whales aren’t here every day yet, I’ve already seen a pretty rare sighting for this season…a mother and baby blue whale, also called a cow/calf pair. Last September, which is the end of our typical blue whale watching season, I got a call from one of the captains from the boats we tour with and he told me he saw a cow/calf pair of blues. I was so excited! I’d been out so many times all summer and never heard of any reports for a cow/calf pair! How amazing! I got out on the boat and spent two days with them before they continued on their way. That had to be one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen. And now here we are at the very beginning of the season, and I’m seeing a cow/calf pair already. How exciting!!
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.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Working with the Program Animals gives me the opportunity to introduce our guests to a variety of really cool animals including birds, reptiles, and terrestrial mammals. Some of these types of animals - like Lola the sulfur crested cockatoo, Matches the bearded dragon, and Iggy the green iguana - are commonly kept as pets. I get approached by guests all the time asking where they could acquire such a pet, or telling me about the pets they already have. While I’m very happy there are folks out there interested in caring for animals, there are many things to take into consideration before you take on the responsibility of keeping any animal as a pet. Knowing a lot about the animal you intend to bring home is essential, as is taking care of the unique needs of your pet!
Thursday, June 25, 2009
It’s coming up on that time again…blue whales! For the last two summers, there have been more blue whales here than there ever have been in previous years. Normally the first whale is spotted sometime in June, and then by mid July, there are so many here that’s it almost a guaranteed sighting daily on the boats. Last year the first sighting was on June 11. In 2007 the first sighting was June 12. This year we had our first sightings in APRIL! I wonder if this is a foreshadowing for what the summer is going to look like…
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.