Sunday, May 22, 2016

long island aquarium (part two)

as promised, here are some pictures of the animals at the aquarium that aren't actually in...like, tanks. I also forgot to mention yesterday that even though it was too dark for my camera in a lot of areas, there are some pictures on my instagram! as in, the shark picture is over there... so if you want to see those, you should click on the "instagram" button in the menu up above. but on to the otters!




they have a butterfly area as well, which smelled like lilacs and was generally nice, excluding the stress that came from watching children attempt to grab fragile creatures...




I include the picture below even though you may be like, "what is going on here?" simply because these bright blue morphos loved me for some reason!  they landed on me twice, prompting squeals from a proximal child who was extremely impressed with my animal-whispering skills.  (see bird-whisperer story at the end of this post, haha.)




there is also a small aviary where you can feed a lot of smallish parroty birds.  it appears that I impersonate a telephone wire pretty well, because when I went in there, suddenly I had four birds on one arm, one in the other hand (worth two in a bush), and at one point somebody landed on my head?  this made me the designated bird-holder at a safe distance from toddlers who were frightened by flapping too nearby.  said child from the butterfly incidents was also present, and I saved her from a biter, further reinforcing our spiritual animal-lover connection.  nah, it was actually pretty funny!  

not to end this post on a downer, but I'm going to end this post on a downer.  so while the otters at the aquarium seem very happy, with a nice enclosure and otter-company and positive, consistent training practices... the LIA also keeps penguins, monkeys, marmosets, sea lions, and seals.  here are a couple pictures...



these...make me kind of sad, especially the macaques above.  while the animals are not being kept in temperature zones inappropriate for them, the enclosures are quite small.  I just think it's really hard to keep monkeys and apes in a cruelty-free environment, to be honest.  I felt the same way about the way the omaha zoo kept their big cats...  I'm not sure what to expect or what to demand of zoos and aquariums that seem to straddle such controversial topics, but what do you think?  discuss below in the comments... 

on the whole, though, I had a great time. it was really interesting to reconnect with a part of me that was so extremely pivotal when I was younger.  going off to college really kind of took me out of the animal-contact sphere, and getting to spend some time bonding with stingrays and such reminded me of how much it makes me feel like myself again.  riverhead in general is also really cute, so if you're in the area, I think it's worth a day trip!