Category Archives: zoos and aquaria

Drawing blood from polar bears and microwaving grapes

As I’ve clearly been unable to brain today, and can’t find much to inspire me, enjoy these two science-y videos. In the first one, sent by reader Michael, we see how the Toronto Zoo draws blood from a polar bear.  The clue is to distract the bear with delicious seal oil while he gets a […]

Ducks feeding

by Greg Mayer With Honey and her fellow mallard inhabitants of Botany Pond in Chicago having flown the coop, and Jerry having done so himself for a few days, I had to travel north to Milwaukee to get my ration of duck feeding. There, on a visit with my vertebrate zoology class to the Milwaukee […]

A day at the Aquarium, part 2

by Greg Mayer Having emphazised the cartilaginous inhabitants of the  Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium yesterday, let’s go to a distant part of the phylogenetic tree today: manatees. There are three species of manatees (Trichechus), all in the tropical Atlantic or Atlantic drainages; this is either the West Indian (T. manatus) or West African (T. senegalensis) species. […]

A day at the Aquarium

by Greg Mayer My Okinawa correspondents spent Boxing Day at the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, and sent me a bunch of pictures. The aquarium is a sprawling complex on the coast in northwestern Okinawa, and includes large areas of gardens and park land, and a recreation of traditional Okinawan homes and buildings, as well as the […]

SeaWorld to end its orca shows

Over the years I’ve written several posts (and letters to newspapers and aquaria) protesting the captivity of large marine mammals and their use in “shows” as a form of entertainment (see here, here and here, for example). SeaWorld in San Diego, California and Orlando, Florida were notorious places for this kind of captivity and entertainment, and […]

Leaping lizards!

Before someone corrects me, yes, I know that crocodiles aren’t lizards (they’re in different orders of reptiles), but the title of the post will resonate with you if you’re “of a certain age,” as they say. TheYouTube notes give the location, and I’m not sure how I feel about keeping crocs in captivity and having […]

Does SeaWorld tranquilize its animals?

I’ve always been critical of places where large, captive animals are displayed to the public as entertainment, and aquaria that house large cetaceans (or mammals like sea otters) are a prime offender. For me, SeaWorld is the most egregious of these, and I’ve posted about it, and about the recent movie “Blackfish,” made about its orcas (killer whales) […]