Animal Care and Husbandry
How do we provide exceptional animal welfare?
Ocean Connections is committed to providing exceptional animal welfare for the marine mammals within our care. As an accredited member of the Alliance of Marine Mammals and Aquariums (ammpa.org), we adhere to the highest standards of animal care ensuring that the physiological, biological, psychological and social needs of our animals are always being met. From nutrition to reproduction, to behavior management and veterinary advancements, our team of trainers, veterinarians and animal care specialists are invested heavily in ensuring that the highest standards of care occur daily.
Caring for seals and sea lions on a daily basis requires tremendous amounts of resources! From a proper diet of fish to enrichment items, we are continually ensuring that our animals have everything they need to be happy, healthy and successful.
Each of our animals can eat between 5-30 pounds of fish per day, so we can go through up to 150 pounds of fish each day during the colder months. Now that’s a lot of fish!
In order to provide our animals with the appropriate mental and physical stimulation they require, we create enrichment devices, otherwise known as novel objects, for our seals and sea lions to interact with and explore. These enrichment devices are made out of a variety of materials including buoys, floating toys and car wash strips. For our younger animals, providing baby pools allows us the ability to teach pups how to swim in a safe and controlled environment. And pups always require “pup toys”, which are safe for a youngster’s play and exploration.
Veterinary and husbandry care is also a vital part of caring for our animals. Large scales are utilized to weigh our animals on a regular basis allowing us to monitor growth, weight and overall health. A variety of specialized husbandry tools are required to transport, examine and treat animals routinely. Digital portable x-ray machines are a tremendous diagnostic tool for marine mammals living in an aquatic environment. Small portable ultra sound machines allow us to monitor the health and growth of a mother and pup during pregnancy.
All donations made to Ocean Connections go directly to animal care allowing us to provide exceptional and progressive animal welfare! Our animal needs are both plenty and consistent. We all appreciate your support!