Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sealed with a kiss

Bedford children’s librarians Sharon McDonald and Nancy Tegeler came to the Aquarium today to bring Chacoda the harbor seal the proceeds from the library’s summer reading program for kids, and what they got in return was priceless.

Chacoda was the mascot this summer for the library’s Undersea Library reading club. McDonald visited Bedford’s elementary schools before the summer began to tell the kids about Chacoda (a.k.a. Chuck); she explained that Chuck is a very smart, very vocal seal and that he eats between 6 and 12 pounds of fish and squid per day. Then she told the kids that those who joined the reading club would set a reading goal at the beginning of the summer, and for each student who reached the goal by September 1, the Friends of the Bedford Library would donate money to Chuck’s fish and squid fund.

“I have found that I get a better reception from the kids when we are doing something for someone else rather than when I’m giving out cheap trinkets as prizes for reading,” McDonald said. “I am delighted to say that we had 207 members of our reading club, a record for the last few years—thanks to Chacoda, I think.”

When McDonald and Tegeler brought the donation to Chuck’s fish fund to the Aquarium, they were invited into the harbor seal exhibit to meet Chacoda. One of Chacoda’s trainers, Paul Bradley, showed McDonald and Tegeler how to brush Chuck’s teeth with an electric toothbrush and how to give him the signal to vocalize. And before they left the exhibit, each librarian got a thank you they’ll never forget: a soft kiss on the cheek from Chacoda.

Learn more about Atlantic harbor seals, and see more videos of Chacoda in action. Find out more about the seals getting their teeth brushed and see video here, here and here.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

See the Aquarium through visitors' eyes!

Visitors can enjoy some amazing moments at the New England Aquarium. We love it when they share those pictures with us on facebook! Here's a smattering of the fascinating, funny, elegant and amazing pictures that our visitors captured on camera.

The Giant Pacific Octopus exploring its tank.

by Anne Young

A sea jelly

A weedy sea dragon showing off its camouflage.

by Olya Scheer

Rockhopper penguins enjoying a spray. (Sprinklers regularly spray down the penguin islands to help keep them clean, learn more about the sprinklers on this Penguin Blog post!)

by Candi Imming

A northern fur seal resting on deck. It looks like he has feet!

by Mike Cook

OK, now it's your turn! Come visit us at the Aquarium, be sure to bring your camera, and then share your spectacular shots with us on facebook.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Aquarium helps you save at LEGO KidsFest!

Can you create a shark out of legos? How about a whale, or a submarine? If you are heading to the LEGO KidsFest in Boston this weekend, here's a way to save!

Buy your tickets online and input the code DUCK at checkout to save $4 off the door price. This deal is only valid for general admission tickets purchased online. The code is not valid on $5 tickets for a child (2 and younger).

Don't forget to look for your friends from the New England Aquarium. We will be manning a booth that this creative extravaganza!