We were met by Dylan Evans who explained that as we were a large group he would split us in two and he would lead one group with Welsh as the spoken language. The other group was led by Stacy and we had to give the first group a 15 minute start. We went to the first tanks and saw so much of interest there was a reluctance to move on. The guides were full of knowledge and brought the visit to life. Other people were moving past us and not seeing half the sea creatures we were seeing.
The Zoo obviously has a very high hygiene level and all of the creatures looked healthy and full of energy. Of special interest was the "wave machine" recreating the turbulence that anemones would have during their normal existence, and a lot of time was taken studying the Sea Horse breeding programme with some of the new born being almost too small to see. Also impressive was the thickness of the Perspex used in some of the exhibits – 6-8 inches – it reminds you of the weight of water that is being controlled. However taking photographs through that material did reduce the quality of the finished results.
Towards the end of the visit we all gathered together, with the other members of the public, as it was shark feeding time. There were several different types in the tank including dogfish and one Ghost Shark that feeds by half burying itself then waiting for prey to come past. This took no part in the feeding frenzy but when the "feeder" touched its nose with a squid (using a remote handle of course) the squid was gone and it was hard to see the shark move it was so fast.
It was interesting to hear about the Zoo’s work in research in breeding programmes, in association with the University and other Zoos throughout the Country. They also get involved with a lot of work about the Menai Straights and of the coast. The guides were thanked for helping to make our visit so interesting and then we went to the café of course for more tea/coffee and cake.
click on thumbnails for a larger view:
© Les Starling