Aquarium 'Summer of Wonder' Ahead
From Issue: Volume XXII - Number 9
By Rebecca Y. Mata
The Aquarium of the Pacific’s “Summer of Wonder” is just around the corner and will introduce new animals in featured exhibits. The Summer of Wonder program will begin on Friday, May 23 and run through Monday, September 1.
Visitors will see new additions to the Shark Lagoon. Bonnethead sharks, the smallest of the hammerhead shark species, and cownose rays will be placed in the lagoon where visitors can reach down into the water and touch them.
At the Molina Animal Care Center, the aquarium’s veterinary hospital, a coral and sponge aquarium and horseshoe crab touch exhibit will be introduced to the public. Guests will learn about the various uses of horseshoe crabs in human medicine, including using their blood to test the safety of vaccinations.
One exhibit will introduce endangered Guam kingfisher birds to visitors. As part of the Aquarium and Zoo Association, the Aquarium of the Pacific is partaking in a breeding program for a pair of Guam kingfishers. Due to the introduction of brown snakes from the South Pacific to Guam during the 1940s aboard ships, these birds are now extinct in the wild. There are only 130 known existing Guam kingfishers left, making programs like these vital to the species’ survival.
The Southern California steelhead fish will have a permanent residence at the Aquarium of the Pacific starting this summer. In nature, steelheads face drought, pollution and dams, making their species endangered. These fish will be presented in three aquariums to demonstrate how they normally migrate from freshwater to brackish water and eventually make their way to the ocean. The Aquarium of the Pacific hopes to encourage conservation through educating the public about steelhead fish through this exhibit.
Lastly, the Summer of Wonder program will introduce a morning penguin walk and the opportunity for guests to view feedings of magellanic penguins, which are mostly native to parts of Southern Chile and Argentina.
In addition to the new exhibits, the Aquarium of the Pacific’s Summer of Wonder will also include education programs, a film in the Great Hall, and a new app for iPhones and Androids. Visitors will also have an opportunity to create and drive remote-controlled vehicles. For more information on the Summer of Wonder program, visit www.aquariumofpacific.org.