Flagler College perspective – Maddy Musante
Once we got to the aquarium, Dr. Walker who is the zoo’s veterinarian introduced himself and told us about his background. Dr. Walker gave us a tour of the aquarium and the zoo. We got to see backstage areas such as the hospital room and the top of the north rock tank. Seeing the aquarium while it was under construction was awesome. It made me think about how much work goes into keeping the tanks stable for the various fish, corals, sea grass, and everything else living in there.
My favorite part of the zoo tour was the lemurs within the Madagascar exhibit. The lemurs are loose in a cage the size of a house and people get to walk into the cages to view them. It was awesome to be standing next to the lemurs without a barrier separating us. The alpha lemur was very energetic and was jumping around the whole time once Dr. Walker started giving them grapes.
The next thing we did was go on a boat ride to south-west break to snorkel. The water was super clear; the visibility was around thirty feet. A few minutes into snorkeling I saw a green turtle! I saw countless Bermuda Chubs and Sargent Majors. I remember swimming through a group of sergeant major and feeling like I was dreaming because there were so many and it was such a memorizing moment. The coolest fishes I saw were a trumpet fish and a big rainbow parrotfish. We snorkeled for a couple of hours and it was a great experience but it just made me want to be diving. On the boat ride back I took a time lapse off the top of the boat so hopefully it will turn out good. The sunset on the way back was beautiful!
Bermuda College perspective – Khadijah Shakir
Hey Guys! So today May 17th 2015 we started our first official day of our marine biology and sustainability course here at the Bermuda, Aquarium Museum, and Zoo and I must say it was pretty great. We began by taking a short identification quiz of a few fish and coral in order to make sure we were able to properly identify them later on when we went snorkeling. After this we were introduced to Dr.Walker employee of the Bermuda aquarium museum and zoo who gave us a brief description of his background and then led us on a tour of the aquarium. We were able to see not only the exhibits that all the visitors see when coming to the aquarium but the behind the scenes things as to how some of the exhibits work and function. One of my favourite things we were able to see which isn’t open to the public is their animal hospital where Dr.Walker told us about the many animals he’s previously had to do surgery on and the importance and convenience of having an animal hospital there at the aquarium instead of at a different location as it previously was. Soon after this we gathered our things and headed to the boat which took us on and amazing scenic route to the Southwest Breaker where we would be snorkeling. Along our way we were not only able to see the crystal clear blue water but other things such as the Bermuda longtails flying above us at certain points as well as a few seawalls that have been built against homes that were at the water’s edge in an effort to fight against things like coastal erosion and damage. Soon after we had reached our location and everyone got suited up and we were ready to snorkel! As beautiful as the day was I must say personally I felt the water was very cold nonetheless I soldiered on. While snorkeling I had the pleasure of seeing a vast array of different species in the reef like sergeant major fish, queen parrot fish, blue tangs, finger corals and even a sea turtle! All in all this was an awesome experience being able to see the many species we had learned about up close and personal and being able to see them in their natural habitat was definitely an awesome experience!