Marine Life Animals Work Up Huge Appetites - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

11/25/02

Marine Life Animals Work Up Huge Appetites

With M.C. Hammer's hit song "Can't Touch This" booming in the background, Perry the Sea Lion shows off his fancy moves. Perry and the other animals at Marine Life perform amazing feats year-round. So they work up quite an appetite.

Darlene Davis is one of ten trainers at the oceanarium. She said "We feed our animals a minimum of 3, but most everybody here gets 4 to 5 sessions a day". All those feedings average about 30 pounds of fish a day for each animal.

The trainers also have to make sure the performers look and feel their best. That means the sea lions, dolphins and harbor seal get a daily check-up, fins and all.

Davis said "Basically, we're looking at their eyes, their mouths, their entire body that they're healthy, that they look good, and nothing new has popped up on them".

From testing for eye ulcers to preventing mouth infections, it's a big job making sure the large, lovable creatures keep on smiling. Davis said "They have each other to interact with, they have a wonderful staff who cares incredibly about them, and we put a lot of time into building our relationships with them".

While the trainers focus on the sea lions, dolphins and seal, divers feed the sharks, sea turtles and fish in the tanks. A veterinarian also visits the oceanarium twice a week to check on the animals and prescribe any needed medication.

By: Trang Pham-Bui

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