America, Australia, Canada, Mexico and Tasmania have been so much fun and there's still so much more to come so stay tuned! I've been able to experience some amazing things and see what many average people don't get to see...and I get to see some of the hilarious (and sometimes not so funny at the time) events/accidents/incidents that happen behind the scenes at aquariums. I want to share a few with you (in no particular order and no names mentioned but some of you out there may recognise yourselves and I don't take responsibility for the story leaking out! :)).
- The giant bite - This was one of those stories where you would think a fisherman was involved! Aquarist "Jane" was feeding fish at the top of an exhibit when she was distracted by a good looking diver walking by. Forgetting that she had a handful of fish in her hand, she turned to chat to him. BIG MISTAKE! Rule number one: NEVER look away from a hand that has food in it. Needless to say, she felt a nip on the tip of her finger. With a gasp, she turned around expecting a huge parrotfish, but instead...it was a little wrasse! Even the little ones can give a nasty nip!
- Dolphin play - Trainer "Bev" was new to training and didn't listen to the other trainers who warned her to stay clear of the one dolphin when he was by himself in the big pool because he was bound to get up to mischief. "Bev" was so happy to be near the dolphins all day that she decided to have her lunch next to the big pool. Well, this was an invite to play because the dolphin was bored and he felt like company. "Bev" got a face full of ball and was soaked to the bone when the dolphin tail-flicked the ball at her and splashed her in the process. .....she learnt not to eat lunch next to the pool!
- Turtle "love" - Aquarist "Bob" was feeding the reef fish one day when, all of a sudden, he felt a sharp pain in his shoulder. Yup, he'd forgotten to keep an eye out for the juvenile (young) turtles that share the tank with the reef fish. The turtle was hungry and tired of waiting his turn so he decided to give the aquarist a nip as a reminder.
- Buckets of fun - The whole story isn't needed here, just imagine a silver bucket on the floor in the wrong place when someone carrying heavy dive gear comes walking past....oops!
Something like this happens : )
- Octopus attack - Every now and again, you get that octopus that really doesn't want to stay in his tank and he really doesn't want to be handled. Enter Aquarist "Joe". "Joe" had spent hours preparing a tube maze for his octopus (being a good aquarist, Joe was making an enrichment toy for the octopus to prevent boredom and make the octopus' life more interesting) and was just about to put it into the tank when the octopus attached himself to Joe's arm and started making his way up to Joe's head. According to Joe, it took at least 5 minutes to get the octopus to let go and another 5 minutes to get him back into his tank and then another 30 minutes to try putting the lid on by getting another aquarist to distract the octopus with a cleaning brush and net. 8 arms of an octopus vs 4 human arms was quite the competition!
- Ladders, doors and many more - There are so many stories of aquarists falling off ladders, slipping on floors, being knocked over or out by doors and being bashed by large objects that it's difficult to pick one. Actually, I don't want to scare you, the job is loads of fun and these accidents only happen once in a while...but it's good to laugh and learn from them.Like I said, loads of fun, a few accidents, many stories to tell your grandchildren one day....all in a day's work!Have a great week Sea Fans.CheersAbby}( *)8