So This Happened This Weekend: Attack of The Pinnipeds

Visited Coney Island this weekend.  I do that a lot.  In fact, I’m going to take a few posts this week to discuss my love for the place, and certain plans I have for this summer that center around it.

The highlight of my visit yesterday was a stop at the New York Aquarium.  Sadly, the place took a bad hit from Sandy, and it’s been reduced to about half of what it was the last time I visited.  Those sharks and sea turtles and jellyfish weren’t there this time, though the signs said they’d be back next year.

The sea lions were still there, though.  And they’re still the stars of the show.

They still have both sea lions from last time – Duke and Osborne – but I didn’t think to take any pictures until the very end, when Ozzie came out to take his bows:

Ozzie greets his fans

Ozzie greets his fans

Ozzie walks the Red Carpet...er, the Grey Planks

Ozzie walks the Red Carpet…er, the Grey Planks

Showing Off

Showing Off

Ozzie confers with Angie

Ozzie confers with Angie

Angie frizzes Ozzie's hair

Angie frizzes Ozzie’s hair

Ozzie shows off his new 'do

Ozzie shows off his new ‘do

One Last Bow

One Last Bow

I’m always amazed by the bond between the trainers and the sea lions.  You don’t think of sea lions as being dangerous, like sharks or killer whales, but really, they are.  When you get up close, you realize just how big and powerful these creatures really are.  You have this 800-pound predator in the tank with two humans…and they’re playing.

Turns out that bond helped to save the sea lions during Sandy.  They trusted their humans.  And that’s more wonderful than any trick I saw yesterday.

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4 responses to “So This Happened This Weekend: Attack of The Pinnipeds

  1. There’s certainly a reason nothing smaller than a great white or orca puts these chaps on the menu. Too bad about this aquarium’s non-mammalian residents…don’t suppose the sea lions had an enclosed portion for their pen, or did the staff have to improvise?

    • I think the mammals (and penguins) were easier to evacuate (i.e. they could walk) and house (there was a picture floating around last fall of a baby walrus sitting in a kiddie pool, happy as a clam), and their habitats were easier to restore. The sharks and jellyfish and whatnot need a kind of total environment control that the more amphibious critters probably don’t.

      Of course, that doesn’t explain how the coral reef and the artificial Amazon environment were back up and running in the entry pavilion. Maybe they were more of a priority? Or maybe it was just luck…the shark pavilion is closer to the ocean than the other stuff, so maybe it was more completely ruined.

      • Solid point regarding environ disruption…now you’ve got me wondering how well Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium (which my clan’s visited twice) would handle something like Sandy. Most of their fish/marine exotic-centric exhibits were focused around the building’s first-floor interior, with dolphin & beluga whale pens in an atrium adjoining the Navy Pier. Can’t help thinking the latter might end up taking the worst of it…

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