We have some very cool fish here in the St. Lawrence River. Some are difficult to find because of their behaviours. One of those fish are the Longnose Gar. They can be seen floating like sticks near the surface of the water on warm days or nights. This is a useful form of mimicry, as they can drift towards their prey and take them by surprise.
The Longnose Gar can be sluggish in their habits unless it is time to eat…. they are very quick and move swiftly to catch their prey. It is a lot of fun to watch.
Here at the Aquatarium we have two Longnose Gar floating around in our Boathouse exhibit. Their names are not official, however have been referred to as Simon and Garfunkle. Often hiding around the dock or reeds, they are very curious and friendly and will come to say hi, especially if they think food is involved. They also enjoy an occasional belly rub from our animal husbandry team, but I would never encourage you to put your hands in, as they possess long noses full of sharp teeth! If you are planning to visit the Aquatarium for the first time, or you are a regular guest, make sure to take some time to stop by the Boathouse to see these amazing animals.
Wow – What a Start to the Year!
Another month, another newsletter check-in! Hi! How are you? Did your January seem to come and go as quickly as ours?
2017 is off to a bustling start over here! Our month started off on an exciting note when we welcomed our Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau into the Aquatarium on January 12. Prime Minister Trudeau expressed interest in visiting our interactive experiential learning facility with the hopes to interact with some local students. The energy in this place was incredible. Prime Minister Trudeau was among 208 kindergarten-grade 6 students coming from the Upper Canada School Board, Catholic District School Board, and Limestone School Board. Some students made fossils while others made aquifers; some students learned about the solar system while others studied invasive species. The Prime Minister spent his visit engaging with the children before snatching a front row seat at the otter feeding presentation, where he surrounded himself with Kampus Kids’ preschoolers as they collectively watched Brock, Ivy, and Oliver earn their morning snack.
Having Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the Aquatarium was a very special moment. This was an exciting day for Brockville, a proud moment for the staff and volunteers at the Aquatarium, and an incredible opportunity for the students. In most cases, the Prime Minister for a lot of students is just that: two words in a text book. This isn’t the case for the 208 elementary students that had the chance to speak with Justin Trudeau and describe to him the planet which they were making, or the ice which they were melting. The Prime Minister’s visit was an experience for these children. One that might not come around again. We are just happy we could facilitate a lifelong memory for these students and their teachers!
The enthusiasm and positive vibes that filled the space was contagious! Here are a few pictures from the Prime Minister’s visit:
In other news, let’s look at what is on the horizon for other upcoming educational events and programming:
- The second term of our Junior Scientists program began Saturday, January 28! Sessions run bi-weekly from January 28-April 15. Registration is now open; for all details please see our website at:Junior Scientists Program, or contact Jessica at firstname.lastname@example.org. Space is limited.
- Monday February 20 is Family Day 2017 and we will be open to the public 10 am-5 pm with a day filled with activities for the whole family – beginning with 50% off all admissions!
- March Break Camp will take place March 13-17, with five full days of fun and learning for children ages 6-12! Space is limited. Stay tuned for all the details and registration options.
- Attention Teachers: We will be celebrating World Water Day 2017 on March 22 with presentations from organizations around the region and our keynote speaker is Ryan Hreljac from Ryan’s Well Foundation. Contact Jessica at email@example.com for all the details. Space is limited!
I hope to see you and your family on Monday February 20! Until then, stay tuned to our website: www.aquatarium.ca and our Facebook page www.facebook.com/The Aquatarium for all the latest and greatest!
Happy New Year from the Animal Husbandry Team!
Wow! Can you believe it! Brock, Ivy and Oliver have been a part of the Aquatarium family for a year at the end of this month. Formally known as large male, female and small male, our three rescued North American River Otters have come a long way. Each was given a name, voted upon from a large amount of entries through our Facebook contest, and we like to think they’re very well suited!
Since their arrival on January 27th, 2016, the three friends have adapted to their new homes in their own way. Oliver, always being curious, continues to come up to the glass each day for snack, and loves to play with new toys! Ivy loves to follow our staff, visitors and volunteers as they walk past the exhibit. Brock, being older than the other two adults, comes down for a snack, and a quick visit. He enjoys swimming with his friends and loves to munch on an apple or squash. All three are adorable when they curl up together in their log den (Ivy has taken it upon herself to add some improvements of her own – pictured in the photos removing bark from a log to decorate her den).
Brock, Ivy and Oliver have all done well acclimatizing to their new home. The staff at the Aquatarium are excited for the upcoming year, with new enrichment, treats and lots of visitors!
Chelsea Lee, Aquarist