* All photos taken by the staff at the Vancouver Aquarium.
I’ve been obsessed with penguins since reading Mr. Popper’s Penguins sometime around age 7. It’s always been my dream to see one up close, never in a million years could I imagine that 25 years later, that I’d actually get to!
I started by meeting up with one of the penguin trainers and she showed me where they prepare all the food for the animals at the Vancouver Aquarium. The penguins are fed a diet of Grade ‘A” herring and sardines which is safe for human consumption.
After seeing the kitchen, the trainer and I moved onto the penguin exhibit where I got to go inside their exhibit to see where they live.
Finally, after learning all about the penguins habitat and what they eat in the wild and captivity, I was ushered into a room where they brought out Lillooet, the youngest female penguin they have at the Vancouver Aquarium. All of the African penguins at the Vancouver Aquarium are named after towns and cities in British Columbia.
The penguins are obviously still wild animals so they are slowly introduced to new people. The trainer opened the kennel and allowed Lillooet to leave the kennel when she was ready.
The trainer allowed her to walk around a bit, and then picked her up and we took a photo with the trainer holding the penguin and me beside her.
After this photo, I got to pet Lillooet, who felt a bit like a wet dog does. She didn’t really smell too bad but I’m sure it’s because they probably make sure they are clean for these animal encounters because I’ve heard penguins are notoriously smelly.
After petting her, the best part happened, I got to feed her! It was so cool even though at first she wasn’t having any of the fish because she’d been pretty well fed to keep her happy in front of me already.
After feeding her, the encounter was over and I finished the day off by visiting the other animals at the Vancouver Aquarium.
The Vancouver Aquarium is one of my favourite places to visit whether by myself or with The Mister but the unique option of meeting animals up close makes visiting the Vancouver Aquarium extra special!
So tell me, have you ever done an animal encounter like this? What animal did you see? If you could meet an animal what would it be?