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snowleopard

Harbour Porpoise - North America's Only Captive Specimen

Jan. 24th, 2011.

Harbour Porpoise - North America's Only Captive Specimen
snowleopard, 25 Jan 2011
    • snowleopard
      Jan. 24th, 2011.
    • Fossa dude
      Snowleopard - Do you think this exhibit is good?? I always kinda value your opinion!
    • snowleopard
      This harbour porpoise exhibit is not very large, and all of the outdoor pools at the Vancouver Aquarium are in need of expansion. The enclosures are not bad by any means, but there was an approved $80 million expansion that would have doubled the footprint of the aquarium that was recently shelved due to the instability of the worldwide economy.

      This exhibit used to house "Tag", an enormous male Steller's sea lion, before he died of cancer but now there are 2 Steller's sea lions and 3 harbour seals in an adjacent pool. This solitary harbour porpoise was a rescue animal and is less than 3 years old, and the seals and sea lions were moved to accommodate it.
    • Fossa dude
      Cool thanxs man. I'mm glad to here a bit of history today! Maybe in a couple years after this economy ends the expansion can make its way. Do you have any pics of what the expansion was going to contain or what it looked like. THanxs


      fossa dude
    • snowleopard
      Somewhere on a Vancouver Aquarium thread there is at least one link with all of the details in regards to the expansion. As far as I know the entire idea has been scrapped, although one can always hope for the best. The current site of the aquarium encompasses 2.1 acres, and with the expansion the aquarium would have been close to 4 acres in size. Most of the work was to be done on the outdoor pools (belugas, dolphins, seals, sea lions, otters, etc) and the indoor areas weren't going to be altered as much.
    • sealion
      That is a real shame. I had been looking at some of the plans, which looked very interesting and was on the lookout for some construction photos! I'll stop looking now! I thought they had already done some work on the entrance area though?
    • snowleopard
      If you check out the "revitalization" link on the aquarium's website there is a lot of information about the approximately $100 million in improvements that will be created over the next several years. Much of the original plan was scrapped, but the outdoor pools will still be dramatically overhauled. The new entrance has been under construction for a long time, and I believe that it will be complete by spring 2014.

      On a side note, there are now 2 Harbour Porpoises at the facility.
    • DavidBrown
      Is harbor porpoise #2 a rescue animal also?

      What does the Vancouver Aquarium do about dolphin shows? Do they have a traditional Sea World-type show, an educational show, or do they not do "shows"?
    • snowleopard
      Both Harbour Porpoises are rescue animals, and there is a revolving door of marine mammals at the facility. Currently one can see 2 Harbour Porpoises, 2 Steller's Sea Lions, 2 Beluga Whales, 2 Pacific White-Sided Dolphins and 2 Sea Otters in outdoor pools...plus 7 African Black-Footed Penguins that complete the outdoor zone. Of those 6 species only the sea lions do not have underwater viewing areas, and off-exhibit (and occasionally on-exhibit!) are Northern Fur Seals and Harbour Porpoises.

      There are dolphin talks where the mammals jump out of the water a couple of times but for the most part it is a low-key, conservation-themed introduction to the animals. In the old days there would be Killer Whales leaping out of the pool doing tricks to jam-packed crowds, but now the "shows" involve folks leaning over the railings and listening to a mild chat about dolphins. For better or worse the era of shows has disappeared from Vancouver, and that circus mentality at places like SeaWorld will be gone from almost all North American facilities within a decade or two. Baltimore is the other top 10 aquarium that has phased out dolphin shows and replaced them with training sessions.
    • sealion
      Oh yeah, I saw some about revitalization on the website but wsn't sure exactly what they were planning for it and how it tied in with the original plan. Thanks for the info! That's good that the outdoor pools are still getting done as it seems an important bit of work (and lots of people have been saying it is needed (having never been there)).
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