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Whale Watching | Mammals

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Something I’ve Only Ever Talked About…Until Now! | Kera  buttonLink

Something I’ve Only Ever Talked About…Until Now!

“Why are the blue whales here?” is a common question I get while working on the boat. The answer I most often reply with is “They’re here because they’re feeding on krill which is a small, shrimp-like animal.”  Typically the krill they eat are pretty deep, around 500 feet or so, but I always mention how on rare occasions the krill are at the surface and the blue whales will lunge feed at the surface. I’ve never seen it done … until now!

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Volunteering | Mammals

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Hugh’s Top Ten Reasons For Volunteering 5000 Hours At The Aquarium Of The Pacific | Hugh  buttonLink

Hugh’s Top Ten Reasons For Volunteering 5000 Hours At The Aquarium Of The Pacific

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.

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Kera's avatar

Animal Updates | Mammals | Whale Watching

Thursday, August 20, 2009

How Do Whales Nurse? Let’s Find Out! | Kera  buttonLink

How Do Whales Nurse? Let’s Find Out!

The past few weeks, we’ve been seeing a decent number of cow/calf pairs of blue whales. Just recently I got word that a calf was seen nursing!  Now even though I haven’t witnessed this with blue whales myself, I did recently get to see beluga whales nursing!

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Hugh's avatar

Volunteering | Mammals

Thursday, August 13, 2009

CHECKING OUT THE SEA OTTERS | Hugh  buttonLink

CHECKING OUT THE SEA OTTERS

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.

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Conservation | Mammals

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Miller the Sea Lion’s 29th Birthday | Hugh  buttonLink

Miller the Sea Lion’s 29th Birthday

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.

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Kera's avatar

Whale Watching | Mammals

Thursday, July 23, 2009

When Bottlenose and Risso’s Dolphins Mix! | Kera  buttonLink

When Bottlenose and Risso’s Dolphins Mix!

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!!!

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Hugh's avatar

Volunteering | Mammals

Thursday, July 16, 2009

SEA LION HIGH ENERGY BEHAVIORS | Hugh  buttonLink

SEA LION HIGH ENERGY BEHAVIORS

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.

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Kera's avatar

Whale Watching | Mammals

Thursday, July 09, 2009

A Rare Sighting So Early in the Season | Kera  buttonLink

A Rare Sighting So Early in the Season

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!!

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Hugh's avatar

Volunteering | Mammals

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

SEA OTTER ICE ENRICHMENT | Hugh  buttonLink

SEA OTTER ICE ENRICHMENT

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.

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Education | Amphibians | Birds | Fish | Invertebrates | Mammals | Reptiles | Turtles

Monday, June 29, 2009

“Where Can I Get One of Those?” | Staci  buttonLink

“Where Can I Get One of Those?”

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!

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