So our weekend in Vancouver started off with a two night stay in Whistler. On Monday Adam had a meeting with a supplier in Vancouver so the girls and I spent that time at the Aquarium, which I haven't been to in about 15 years. I remember seeing the orca the last time I was there. In the emergence of the movie Blackfish (and my feelings towards cetacean capture in general), I was happy to learn that in the early 2000's Vancouver had created a bylaw preventing the Aquarium from displaying wild caught cetaceans and only obtain cetaceans from other facilities if they were born in captivity, captured before 1996 or were rescued and deemed un-releasable after this date (source). Since 2001 they haven't had an orca but currently have two belugas (one was the first conceived and born in a Canadian aquarium) and two rescued Pacific White Sided Dolphins. They do put on a show for both of these, but it's more of a walk through of their daily health check and training with a big emphasis on education of these animals. I whole heartedly agree that animals in general should have the freedom to be wild, but that's not the case every time and at the very least..I am thankful that institutions put forward the effort to education and conservationism. When I was younger, children would see the orcas and want to become trainers at Seaworld. Now this current generation will learn about these animals and hopefully want to be scientists who study them in the wild.
My favorite part about aquariums is that the animals are always visible. Now that Penny is a toddler I take the time to stand in front of most of the tanks and talk to her about what's inside and have her describe as well.
Penny truly enjoyed the beluga show. She is too young to understand what the narrator was discussing, but it was so cool to see her finally realize that there is such a creature as a beluga (we sing the Baby Beluga song to her every night, since she was born). Penny kept shrieking "It's a BABY WOOOGA!" They did only one or two "tricks" but even as someone who has had an interest in whales all her life, I learned a lot!
We also watched the dolphin show, which had a lot more acrobatics. Unfortunately..there's something about the dolphins jumping very high and the loud clap as they hit the water that just really upset Ruby. Poor baby just cried so hard whenever they did that! So we left the show early and I got a few very strange rude stares as we left. ? Sorry guys, yes I have to inconvenience you as I push through, my baby can't take it anymore. So strange.