We started our visit feeding slimy little minnows to the Cow-Nose Rays. (I was surprised and delighted that both of my sensory challenged boys were more than willing to do this!) I've always enjoyed petting these guys myself, and now that they are allowing feeding by the public, the Rays have gotten extremely friendly, coming to the surface of the tank. Aren't they cute?:
Then we attended a training session with one of the Belugas -- this is Juneau. He was really quite a character with the kids in our group of friends:
Then, after visiting the penguins (which my stupid camera didn't let me get any good pictures of), we watched a training session with some rescued harbor seals. Here the trainers are working on teaching the seals to come up onto the platform one at a time for feeding. It's just like dog training -- they ignore the seal that isn't supposed to be up there, and feed the seal that is. Eventually the errant seal pops back into the water, realizing it's not getting fed, and as soon as it does, the other trainer starts feeding it. Pretty cool, we watched the entire session as each seal had it's turn being trained/fed.
After a snack, we made our way over to the Birds of the Outback exhibit, which was definitely Zoo Boy's highlight of the day. J enjoyed himself as well:
We also attended the Sea Lion show (it's fun to see the younger animals progress in their training from year to year -- last year the youngest only came out on his rock and said hi, this year he was an active, though limited, participant in the show). We spent a bunch of time in both of the indoor buildings as well, but I didn't even bother to try to get photos because I know my stupid broken camera is totally inadequate indoors. And we saw a bunch of other cool stuff that didn't make the "greatest hits" moments of the day, simply because everything else was just so spectacular!
As always, a GREAT trip, and a fabulous way to kick off our school year! We'll be easing back into a school-type rhythm over the next couple of weeks, then start up full guns with our cultural unit mid-month.