Eighteen-month-old Akitusaaq, the Wildlife Conservation Society’s New York Aquarium baby Pacific walrus, waves goodbye to 2008 and welcomes 2009 as he runs through some of his enrichment behaviors with animal keeper Paul Moylett.
Animal enrichment at the New York Aquarium is not a new practice. For many years aquarium keepers have put not only their knowledge, but their creativity into enriching the lives of our animals to stimulate them mentally and physically.
Aki loves to play ball with his new holiday “toy” and is paying close attention to Moylett’s signals. Winter is the best time to visit the aquarium, with perfect viewing due to smaller crowds, and the walruses’ fondness for the cold weather make them extremely active during this time of year.
A Wildlife Conservation Society park, the New York Aquarium, opens every day of the year at 10 a.m., and closing times vary seasonally. Admission is $13 for adults, $9 for children ages 3-12 and $10 for senior citizens (65 and older); children under three years of age are admitted free. Fridays after 3 p.m., admission is by suggested donation.
The aquarium is located on Surf Avenue at West Eighth Street in Coney Island. For more, call 718-265-FISH or visit www.nyaquarium.com.