Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Clam Craft

Hi Sea Fans!

I was surfing the worldwide web and found a very cool craft - origami.  Try this one out:

Have fun with it and enjoy finding your own (maybe try googling the author of this origami: Fumiaki Shingu).

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Monday, August 29, 2011

Water rat runaway!

Hi Sea Fans!

This last week was so quiet that I even managed to clear my desk - something that is very much like homework to me!  In the pile of papers, I found an incident report from a while back all about our Water Rats escaping when we first got them.  I was having such a good chuckle when all of a sudden, I heard a mayday call on the radio...you won't believe it, but the Water Rats had escaped!!

They haven't tried to escape in a long time, but they must have known that I was reading about their last great escape so they tried it again! Ha ha ha!

I laugh now, but at the time it wasn't funny.  The aquarium was due to open in 10 minutes, we couldn't afford to have escaped Water Rats running around with public in the aquarium.  This meant that we had to catch them and FAST!  First thing was to find out how they had escaped so that it doesn't happen again as soon as we've got them back inside their exhibit.  The next was to find out how many had escaped and then get the trainer and at least one other aquarist who worked with the rats to help capture them.  Luckily, it wasn't an exhibit problem, but rather an aquarist in a hurry that caused the escape (the aquarist cleaning the enclosure didn't close the door behind them whilst cleaning so the rats decided to take the gap).

We soon found them: hiding inbetween the filtration pumps (the machines that clean the water) behind the amazon exhibit, looking a little confused.  Luckily, they love their food and their trainer knows them very well.  It only took two carrots and a whistle to get Beavis and Noris into their travel boxes and back into their exhibit... with 2 minutes to spare.  Phew!  Never a dull life in the aquarium!!

When you think "rat", you think "small".  This is not the case with Water Rats, otherwise known as Nutria. 
Moral of the story: anything can happen...twice.

Have a great week Sea Fans!
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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Do you want to be a diver?

Hi Sea Fans!

Well, if you ever thought that you might want to take up diving as your career, stay put and read on.  Today we have Tersia with us, she works as a diver at an aquarium and she's going to tell you a little more about what she does in a day:

Tersia above the water.
What is your job?
I am a diver at the Two Oceans Aquarium and look after a few tanks and take care of all the sharks and fishes in it.

What did you study/do to get this kind of work?
I did not study for this job! I started as a volunteer because I have a passion to look after fish and dive in the ocean.

What do you do in a normal day?
I look after my displays, feed the fish and do a presentation dive while feeding the fish, sharks and turtles.

What is the most interesting thing you've come across/experienced in your job? 
The molting of my spider crabs - the way they climb out of the old carapace!

What is a not-so-nice thing about your job?
We have to prepare our own food for the fish on weekends when we work, then we stink like fish!

What do you love about your job?
I love diving and feeding the sharks in my big tank because not everybody gets to do such an awesome thing.

What would you say/recommend to kids who want to do what you do? 
You would have to be a hard worker, be dedicated and love looking after your animals.

Anything else?
You must love what you do and what makes you happy! It's nice getting up in the morning and looking forward to going to work.

Tersia below the water.
Thanks Tersia for inviting us into your world!  So, who wants to be a diver?  I know many people who want to be able to do what Tersia does!!

Have a great week, Sea Fans!
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Friday, August 12, 2011

What goes up must come down!

Hi Sea Fans!

Have you heard the saying: “What goes up must come down” before? Well, it’s so true. Let me tell you how I came across this saying again.

This week we had so many people at the aquarium, it felt like holidays all over again! It’s great for business, but it makes getting around the aquarium really difficult sometimes – especially when you’re carrying buckets of water with artemia in (artemia = sea monkeys = the little marine animals that look like insects which we use as food for a lot of our small fish, jellyfish and corals). 

Artemia.      Photo: Biodiversity Institute of Ontario.
I’ve often found myself having to ask guests very politely to move out the way because they are so amazed by the animals and the exhibits that they don’t see us running around. Which I guess is a good thing because it means that we’ve done our job well. : )

Anyway, with all the hustle and bustle, a few kids managed to sneak balloons into the aquarium. It didn’t take long and two balloons were popped, right above the turtle tank which doesn't have a cover on it! This is one of the worst things that you can do, turtles often mistake balloons for food and so they swallow the balloon and it gets stuck inside the turtle.  This causes its real food to get stuck there too, sometimes blocking the whole intestine or stomach and causing an infection.  With wild turtles, this can cause an animal to starve because there aren’t humans checking on them everyday who can see when something’s wrong.  Luckily, we managed to get the balloons out without much fuss, but something even worse could have happened, they could have been released into the air by accident and what goes up must come down.   Please Sea Fans, rather don’t buy balloons and if you find one floating in the sea, river, dam or lake, please fish it out before a fish or something else eats it. 

Here are a few scary facts:

o Almost all balloons released are tied with ribbons and strings which entangle, strangle and kill marine life.

o Latex balloons float for just 10 hours but can take up to a year or more to degrade.

o There is a greater than 70% chance that airborne balloons, or pieces of them, will end up in the oceans and harm marine life.

Just remember, releasing balloons into the air is littering!

Have a great weekend Sea Fans and please keep an eye out for colourful balloons that may be floating in the water when you're out there having fun.

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