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Spending Christmas Day with the Critters

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Animal Updates | Mammals | Reptiles | Volunteering

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Hugh

Spending Christmas Day with the Critters
Me and Harpo enjoying some Quality Time on Christmas morning.  | Pam Ryono

While many were enjoying Christmas opening gifts and sipping eggnog, a dedicated group of staff members and volunteers spent the day caring for the critters of the Aquarium of the Pacific.

Though the Aquarium was closed to the public on Christmas Day, the animals of the facility still needed to be cared for. Thus, early that morning some staffers were in the food prep room preparing the meals for the critters while others were making the rounds checking on the exhibits. It would be a full day of work.

What I enjoyed most about helping out on Christmas was the opportunity to spend some “Quality Time” with the animals, particularly with the pinnipeds. Because of the lack of shows that day the training sessions were actually enrichment session for both staff and animals. Parker the sea lion was a ham, enjoying photo sessions with many of the volunteers. I was enjoying my bonding session with Harpo the sea lion, stroking his whiskers and giving him a rub down. The sea otters got some holiday treats made especially for them by the volunteers. Iggy the iguana got into the spirit by touring the outside of the penguin and pinniped exhibits. Iggy and Milo the sea lion even showed a mutual interest in each other, staring at each other with a sort of “what is that?” look. It turned out to be a lot of fun for the folks giving up part of their holiday for the critters of the Aquarium.

Volunteering on Christmas was also a way for me to give a little back to the Aquarium that has given me so much enjoyment over the years.

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