Friday, January 23, 2015

Vancouver Aquarium

After this weekend, I feel like I'm on a West Coast tour of Aquariums. In the last year, I've been to the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, Seattle Aquarium, Aquarium of the Pacific (post coming behind on this! We were there in October!) and now the Vancouver Aquarium. The only aquariums that I'm missing are Seaside Aquarium, Oregon Coast Aquarium, Monterey Bay, Morro Bay, Santa Monica and Cabrillo... Bucket list for 2016? ;)
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. 

 My favorite animals to photograph are jelly fish!
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.

Have you visited the Vancouver Aquarium?

See what zoos The Pierogie Mama has written about


  1. my favorite place. I'm so glad that you guys had so much fun

  2. We love visiting aquariums! I used to have a saltwater reef aquarium in my dorm room and apartment in college, but i took it down a few years ago. I really miss watching all the beautiful fish and the coral swaying in the water current. We live in the midwest, so I've never been to the aquariums you listed, but I'd like to. The Shed aquarium in Chicago is worth a visit, as is the largest freshwater aquarium in Tennessee. I remember going there as a child and loving it :)



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