6778 – Yawn a more Roman way!

Nice Trip to the Seaquarium Yesterday.

Some snapshots, more to follow as I clean ’em up.

First Stop. Manatees. My reason for going!

Something to note… that little one is about 4 feet long. A lot of floating food in the water… banana chunks, mangoes, cabbage and other yummies.

MMm… bananas. I prefer mine peeled, though.

They were really close, but not enough to pet. The Seaquarium is one of the best rehabilitation centers for manatees in the country. This guy wasn’t hurt by propeller.. but even being hit by the hull can be like being smacked by a car. He had a lot of internal injuries, but is much better now, able to be seen by the public.

I was surprised that there weren’t more long greens in the water.

I still can’t get over how the baby is so big.

He really like to fish out the mangoes over everything else.

Yum!

This is the Papa, I think… 13-14 feet? big ol’ bulk, and teensy head!

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Swimming under water.I didn’t get many shots of this guy, because I was too busy just watching.

I really dug this sea lion… retired show animal, very animated and playful. I watched for about an hour, ad the tank seemed very happy. Reminded me a lot of Newt, actually.

Stereotypical Florida Summer Rain. One minute on, on minute off… fortunately, there was a lot of cover. The first phase post-rain made it steamy, but the second shower cooled things. A wall of rain persisted out over the ocean, and sort of danced in and out… water came down in sheets on one side of the park, while the other remained mostly dry.

I found this site, which struck me as sad, and I wish I’d found it before I went there. I agree with them regarding the use of dolphins as trained entertainment. (Jacques Cousteau once said, “There is as much educational benefit in studying dolphins in captivity as there would be in studying human beings by only observing prisoners in solitary confinement.” ) I did not patronize the animal acts for that reason.. I just checked out the critters under care, and the reef tank.

Contrary to the negative site’s images, the reef tank and manatee tank were both clean and appeared well-maintained, and there was a massive amount of construction taking place on the far side of the park. I did notice that there are signs up all over the park stating that images may not be used for any public exhibition or commercial venture… I wonder how much of that was a result of the site?

The problem with most animal rights groups is that they are, seemingly by necessity, driven by extremists. I do feel that most megacorps and the entertainment industry is mostly a collection of greedy SOBs, only out to make a buck, by the quickest way possible. Sometimes the best way to turn a buck is by good publicity and by doing the right thing. (Not as often as it might be, sadly.) Flip side of this of course is the old adage that the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

What’s the answer? Well, I figure the extremists have the motivation to keep plugging away at things that outrage them, but they need some folks that are able to parlay a bit to get thing accomplished.

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