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.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
One of the most common questions I get while on the boats is “How do you find the whales and dolphins? Does that Captain use radar?” Unfortunately, no. I wish it were that easy! We rely on our eyes to do the searching. There are a couple of things we look for to get us in the right direction and as I like to say, “Follow the birds!”
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.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
The gray whales are pretty much done passing through, and the next true season for whales is in the summer from around June to September when the blues are here. So for now, we go in search of some VERY acrobatic animals…the dolphins! And there’s more than one type of dolphin that likes to put on a show!
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 30, 2009
About a year ago, I was out on the boat as usual and was super excited to see all of the animals in the area. At this time, the gray whales had pretty much finished up migrating through our waters. We’d still see a few stragglers here and there. This was also the time that humpbacks poked their heads into our waters. Around this time every year we get humpback whales that also pass through here. Their migration is a little different and the majority of the humpback whales we see are coming from Central America and Mexico. I’d recently seen my first two humpback whales, and couldn’t wait to hopefully find more. And boy was I in for a surprise! On May 1, 2008, I got a very nice showing. I saw flippers, fins, and flukes, oh my!
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.