By Remi Schott
A few days ago I went on a little road trip with my family to the Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center! I was thoroughly excited for our visit to the Aquarium, due to the fact that we bought special tickets that allowed us to go snorkeling. However, once I arrived, I became more disappointed than excited.
For starters, the aquarium layout was complex and confusing; the building also seemed to be very run down. Although the Aquarium was very hands on I felt as though some of the animals were not being kept in the most humane conditions. Many of the tanks seemed far too small for any type of sea life to be occupying them.
For example, when I walked through the aquarium I came across the sea lion exhibit which was home to a female California Sea Lion named Bunker. I noticed that her tank was entirely too small, I thought to myself that there was no way that she could live in the tank full time, and that it must be a holding tank. She barely had enough room to swim. As she continued to circle the tank she appeared to be in distress.
I asked Bunker’s trainer why the sea lion was living in such a small tank, and she replied saying that because it was mating season they had to keep all of the sea lions separated. She went on to tell me that Bunker preferred the small tank because if she was not separated from the male sea lion, he would attack her. The trainer also told me that Bunker may be living in that tank for a couple of months.
To say the least, I was saddened; I thought that it was unbelievably unacceptable that Bunker had such horrible options. She could either be attacked or kept in a tank small enough to drive anyone living in it insane. I feel as though Bunker is the aquarium’s responsibility and they should provide her with the proper care and tank.
As I continued to walk through the Aquarium and Exhibition Center I realized that if I had not paid extra to do the snorkeling, the admission fee would not have been worth it. Speaking of snorkeling, I was a little disappointed with the setup and amount of fish in the swimming tank.
Reflecting on my overall experience, I wouldrecommend taking a trip to the Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center if you are interested in the Interactive Experiences they offer! Don’t forget your wallet though because if you end up going, it sure will cost you. Admission to the aquarium is $26.50, but know that to participate in any additional activities such as snorkeling, swimming with sharks, etc. you will be breaking your piggy bank!
Overall, I think it was a great experience and I had a lot of fun. If you are interested, check out their website for more information. http://www.longislandaquarium.com/