Monday, February 24, 2014

Go Behind the Scenes at the Vancouver Aquarium + #VAUpClose Contest

Here's your chance to touch a sea anemone in the Wet Lab!
Have you ever wondered what happens behind some of those doors you see in the corners of the viewing galleries at the Vancouver Aquarium, or how the giant Pacific octopus gets fed, or how a living coral reef is recreated and becomes a home to animals there? Where do the 9.9 million litres of water in our 400 exhibits come from? And how do the Aquarium’s biologists handle the electric eel without becoming electrocuted? Witness these – and more – answers unveiled when exploring Vancouver Aquarium Up Close.

Until April 30th, Vancouver Aquarium Up Close features new interactive shows, special behind-the-scenes experiences, and up-close programming and displays designed to provide visitors with fascinating new insight into what is involved with caring for the tens of thousands of aquatic creatures at the Aquarium.

“This new experience provides a special opportunity for us to share the stories of the mesmerizing animals that call Vancouver Aquarium home in greater depth and magnitude,” says Clint Wright, the Aquarium’s senior vice president and general manager. “Through Vancouver Aquarium Up Close, visitors are invited to get hands-on and receive an intimate glimpse of the around-the-clock care and husbandry provided by our professional animal care team. They will also gain deeper insight into the conservation issues our aquatic animals face in the wild and the role we each play in protecting them.”
  This last point is key in why I support the Aquarium--the raison d'etre of the place is education. Teaching everyone ways they can reduce their impact on the environment, and reducing fear of 'monsters' like sharks, eels, stingrays, and other animals by showing how they are an integral part of our ecosystem.

Did you know there's a nursing nook downstairs by Clownfish Cove?
Don’t miss out on these new offerings, available only for a limited time:
  • Vancouver Aquarium’s Wet Lab, featuring over 6,000 invertebrates representing close to 150 species, including sea stars, sea cucumbers, crabs, sea urchins and more, will for the first time be open at various times for daily exploration, offering visitors hands-on experiences with spineless animals from local seashores.
  • New interactive marine mammal shows will demonstrate what’s involved in animal care, and why this care is so important. During each show, one very lucky visitor will be asked to step into the role of a marine mammal trainer.
  • Visitors in the right place at the right time may be selected to step behind the scenes and visit animal care areas that are typically only accessible to Aquarium staff. There’s no telling when or where this will happen, but the surprise is all part of the fun.
  • Ask the Staff program will run daily during the feature, offering visitors the unique chance to learn about  – and ask questions of – aquatic animal experts, as well as those who help lead the Aquarium’s various research, education and conservation initiatives.
It's a great time to visit the Aquarium. When you go, don't forget to get some pictures with your smartphone--there's a contest running at the moment. Post your unforgettable Up Close photos on the Aquarium's Facebook page or tag your photos with #VAUpClose on Twitter or Instagram between February 6 and April 30, 2014 for your chance to win two tickets to a sleepover at the Vancouver Aquarium!

View the daily schedule of Vancouver Aquarium Up Close at Follow @VancouverAqua or search #VAUpClose on Twitter and like the Vancouver Aquarium's Facebook page to get more updates.

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