New Exhibit for Aquarium

Cape Town’s Two Oceans Aquarium has announced that they will have a new predator exhibit open by the end of the year. As regular visitors (and “Solemates”), our family is particularly delighted at this news.


The new exhibit will hold 1.5 million litres of water and will feature – as demonstrated above – a 10 metre long tunnel, made from a single acrylic panel, meaning a seamless window into the six metre deep tank.

It’s going to be spectacular. Cannot wait.

Some of the species will include spotted eagle rays, honeycomb rays, smooth hound and spotted gully sharks as well as Yoshi the loggerhead turtle and Cannelloni the green turtle. “I am particularly excited about the possibility of displaying skipjack and longfin tuna. In the early days of the Aquarium we displayed these fast-swimming fish, but the ragged-tooth sharks ate them! This time they will be safe as the raggies will be in a different display” says Technical Manager Mike de Maine.

We have similar woes – albeit on a slightly smaller scale – with our fishtank at home.

Building work is due to start by the end of this month and it’s hoped that the exhibit will be open by the end of the year.
Follow their progress on Facebook and Twitter.

Of fish

Not a sponsored post, just another 6000 Recommends…

And today I’m recommending the Two Oceans Aquarium at the Waterfront. We were down there yesterday, and no, despite the rain, it really wasn’t as busy as you think it was. It’s not like it was our first time, we’re members and we go down there maybe every other month. But it’s great value and the kids love it. Every single time.

It helps that we spend as much time as we can exploring the rock pools around Agulhas and it’s a real bonus to be able to tie the two in together.


Bonus for me this time around (aside from the smiles on the faces of my loved ones, obviously) was this Rockhopper penguin, which had set up his… her… its nest right next to the fence in the penguin enclosure.


Not wanting to intrude, I carefully slipped the very end of my phone (just the tip) against the bamboo fencing poles and took this from all of 20cm away.

If anyone knows how to remove beak marks from a Sony Xperia T, I’d be obliged if you could get in touch.

Anyway, I suspect that I’m teaching Cape Town parents to suck eggs when it comes to suggesting the Aquarium as a good spot to take your kids. But just in case you were hesitating, go and do it.

“A good throw back in” is not the answer

Read and learn from the latest Two Oceans Aquarium blog post, people:

It’s that time of year again, when the Two Oceans Aquarium starts to receive calls from concerned members of the public who come across stranded juvenile (and occasionally sub-adult) turtles on the beaches of the Western Cape. The tiny turtles you may come across are most likely hatchlings and the size of your hand. They wash up on our beaches, suffering from hypothermia.

Unsurprisingly, in Yzerfontein, these tiny turtles come ready frozen.

Now, turtles being sea-dwelling creatures, you might expect reasonably that getting them back into the sea would be the most obvious and helpful thing to do. Add to this the fact that these little turtles appear to be stranded on the beach, and it would also seem sensible to assist them to get as far from land as possible. DO NOT THROW THE TINY TURTLE BACK INTO THE SEA.
In fact, don’t put them near any water at all –  even if you have a turtle stretcher.

Yes – I’m serious:

These turtles are most likely suffering from hypothermia, which makes them weak; in most instances they are so weak that they cannot lift their heads.

Turtles breathe air, just like us, and if a turtle cannot lift its head out of the water, it cannot breathe and will drown.
Once you have found a tiny turtle on the beach around the Cape Town coast, it needs rehabilitation. The first thing to do is to remove the turtle from the beach and place it in a dry container where it cannot drown. Keep it at room temperature to warm up slowly.

Dry containers: keeping tiny turtles from drowning since 1992. Actually, it’s a little known fact that it’s incredibly difficult for any creature to drown in a dry container.
And see how they state to “keep it at room temperature”?
There’s no place in this world for the pastime of microwaving small animals unless you plan to eat them immediately afterwards. And there’s virtually no meat on a tiny turtle anyway, so go grab a sandwich instead.

Contact us immediately (+27 (0)21 418 3823) and get the turtle to us as quickly as possible.

Very important: At no stage should the turtle be placed in water as it could drown.

The Aquarium has a team of trained aquarists who have lots of experience in caring for stranded turtles.

Depending on where you are, due to the recent fuel price increases, this could be quite expensive, but you’ve come this far – no throwing, no microwaving, supply of a suitably dry container – so you might as well follow this through. However, at this point:
While a padded envelope may seem to be an adequately “dry container”, the vagaries of the South African postal system will almost certainly result in the tiny turtle being lost in transit. Tiny turtles require food as well as not water and they probably won’t find much nutrition in the bubble wrap, although they may have a lot of fun popping it before they pop their clogs.
However, opting to post the tiny turtle defeats the aim of attempting to save the tiny turtle in the first place.
Rather head to the Aquarium.

Once you have passed responsibility of the tiny turtle onto the team of trained aquarists, it is quite literally out of your hands. But you can go on your way safe in the knowledge that your lack of throwing, use of kitchen appliances and the local postal system, together with the provision of a commodious receptacle probably saved the life of that tiny turtle.
Don’t expect him to thank you though, because tiny turtles do not possess the complex vocal cords required for human speech. And even if they did, they are renowned for their absolutely appalling manners and lack of gratitude.