Friday, December 07, 2007
Well, that festive time of year is once again upon us! This time of year is always full of all kinds of celebration and fun, and the holiday season at the Aquarium is no exception. Decorations recently started popping up everywhere, and not just for us humans. Even the animals are getting in on the act!
If you were able to visit the Aquarium last weekend, you witnessed our annual Holiday Treats for the Animals celebration. In my opinion, this has to be one of the best days to visit during the holiday season! We’ve spent the past several weeks preparing a wide variety of treats for the seals, sea lions, and sea otters. Between the colored ice treats, shrimp/squid/clam treats, and fish cakes, we almost ran out of room in the freezer! Unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend the actual celebration this year, but the memories from last year are still fresh in my mind. I think my favorite memory from last year has to be hiding the treats for the otters. We had lots and lots of bags of snow delivered (since snow isn’t easily found here in Southern California) that we hauled up to the exhibit and scattered over the entire deck. We even made little snowman and used crab legs for his nose and arms! Then we hid all of the otter treats (ice treats, frozen shrimp/clam smoothie sticks, mussels, crab legs, and clams) in the snow and got to watch as the otters were released into their winter wonderland. The had an absolute ball foraging for those treats! Otters have loose folds of skin under their arms that they use as pockets, and those pockets were full! I distinctly remember coming back over an hour later and seeing Charlie, our male otter, lying on his back with a big pile of treats in front of him. He was STILL eating!
If you didn’t make it last weekend, don’t fret! There’s still plenty of holiday cheer to go around. Most of the animals have their stockings up at all the different exhibits, and the Lorikeet Forest is a daily party in itself! They have their own Christmas trees adorned with millet and garlands of cranberries. The birds themselves are so colorful they make fantastic, living ornaments!
I know this is an extremely hectic time for everyone, but I did want to take the opportunity to put a little conservation message out there. I recently read that it we produce an estimated 25 million additional tons of waste during the holiday season than a normal 10 week period the rest of the year. Think of all the wrapping paper, ribbons, and boxes that can be generated by just one family! Then there’s all the bottles, cans, and plastic containers used and thrown away after holiday gatherings and parties. Have a green holiday season - REDUCE, RE-USE, & RECYCLE! Find out what the recycling options are in your city and take advantage of them! Many areas are offering Christmas tree recycling, even offering a day of free pick up. The holidays are a time for giving gifts to family and friends, but why not give a little bit to our environment? Our planet takes care of us, after all.
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