Vancouver Aquarium: Walruses, Sloths and Otters

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We brought visiting family to the Vancouver Aquarium. I’ve been a member for years and don’t always take advantage of it. The best part is skipping the line for the membership line. I also had a couple of guest passes that I was able to use.

It was between Christmas and New Year’s when we went and we started at 2 PM with a 5 PM closing time. We truly hit it lucky because we managed to hit three feeding times for the Sea Otters, the Walrus and one of the Sloths.

The Sea Otters are endlessly cute and are in the outside area. It is hard to imagine people hunting these to near extinction in their range. At this point when I was shopping, I couldn’t bring myself to enjoy the look of a fake fur trimmed Christmas stocking.

The new (to us) Walrus exhibit is fascinating because I’d never seen one live before. They seem as smart as dogs because the trainer has managed to teach hand signals for rolling over (to make a health check easier) as well as flipping up their whiskers (actually called vibrissae) for inspection. The smarter trick is teaching them to rumble up the ramp into the Vet’s office so that more work can be done. According to the CBC, the walruses are from the Aquarium du Quebec, are called Lakina and Balzak and are rare born-in-captivity walruses. They arrived as small babies and are now big babies. And so cute.

The real surprise was the sloth, who actually moved. A lot. The sloths are in the Amazon section and normally are hard to find balls of brown fur in the trees. We were treated to a feeding display where we were able to see how limiting the two toes were. Funny how evolution works.

The inescapable gift shop is pretty well stocked with lots of interesting trinkets. Members receive a 20% discount, which brings some of the prices into the realm of the reasonable.

For more info see:
www.vanaqua.org

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