Animal Health Department

I spent my next day working with Charlie Innis the director of animal health for the entire aquarium. Right when I arrived at the aquarium I headed up to the top of the Giant Ocean Tank (GOT) where a team of divers were removing the bonnet heads sharks to be sent to the rehab center in Quincy. The tank was going to be treated for Crypto by lowering the salinity of the tank which the elasmobranchs (sharks and rays) wouldn’t be able to handle. The sharks were caught then rushed down to a waiting truck that carted them to Quincy. After the bonnet heads were safely on their way Charlie showed me around the aquarium pointing out all the animals that were being treated for something or he had treated them and they were healthy and on exhibit. After that we headed down to treat a soldier fish for a eye problem giving it the last treatment of eye drops. It was astonishing to see a fish getting eye drops and how much Charlie and the Aquarium care about every single animal. After taking care of the fish we headed back up to the top of the GOT and removed the cownose rays while everyone watched the procedure. The divers caught them and transported them down the elevator and out to the truck just like the bonnet heads.

Team removing a cow nose ray
Soldier fish getting eye drops

Charlie explained to me that this was a pretty relaxed day which was just astonishing. After lunch I headed to watch a presentation about southern right whales populations and the threats they face. It was interesting to hear the factors such as birds scratching the backs of the whales that would hurt their population. We then went to a presentation by one of Charlie’s team about a project he had worked on studying a mass pilot whale beaching killing over a hundred individuals and their health. My day spent with the health team was really amazing just watching all of the small everyday tasks and bigger unexpected problems that they face.