Monday, August 27, 2007
The Glamour of Shark Lagoon
I am extremely fortunate to be able to work with the sharks in Shark Lagoon. My official title is Aquarist Volunteer. On a typical day, my duties include helping to open the exhibit by removing the covers, cleaning filters, raking sand, changing out or turning rocks in the exhibit, and watering the mangroves with fresh water. We remove anywhere from five to 25 eggs from the exhibit that were laid in the last 24 hours. The eggs are taken to a tank behind the scenes to hatch. After opening the exhibit, it is time to prepare food for both daily feedings. The food is thawed, depenned, peeled, scaled and filleted as needed, then weighed and placed into containers along with vitamins. Yes, you get your hands downright slimy! The food preparation area is cleaned, food is pulled from the freezer for the next day and placed in the refrigerator. It is now time for the 11:00 Shark Lagoon Touch Pool feed. Imagine individually feeding each of the mangrove rays or juvenile zebra sharks.
After feeding, the amount of food eaten is logged and the dishes are washed. If time permits, there are other maintenance jobs to be done. The 2:00 feed is for the big sharks, the ones that you can’t touch. I am one of the few people that can say they have fed a bull shark. Usually I feed the large rays or the zebra sharks.
In these blogs, I hope to share some of my experiences with the inhabitants of Shark Lagoon and other exhibits I will cover when someone is on vacation. I am a Charter Volunteer which means that I have been volunteering at the Aquarium of the Pacific since it opened in 1998.
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All blogs and comments represent the views of the individual authors and not necessarily those of the Aquarium.