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|Aquarium Announces New Whales Up Close Program|
MYSTIC, Conn. (May 28, 2009) – For young children or those who don’t want to get waist-deep into the water during the Beluga Encounter program, Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration is now offering a new way to have an up-close visit with a beluga whale.
Launching on June 1, the Whales Up Close program allows guests to watch a beluga feeding and their special behaviors, with only a three-foot-high window between them and a whale.
The 45-minute program begins in the Beluga Encounter Room, where guests meet a whale trainer and learn about belugas. From there, they are led to a low window in an area of the Arctic Coast exhibit – home to the aquarium’s three belugas – that is behind the scenes and not accessible to the public.
During this portion of the program, a beluga whale will swim right up to the window, directly in front of guests. Guests will watch a trainer interact with the whale and gain firsthand insight into their many behaviors within only one foot of the beluga. These behaviors are taught for regular close interaction that includes daily physical examinations, research, exercise, playtime and learning with the whales. Guests will also have the opportunity to interact one-on-one with the whale over the window and may get the chance to touch the animal.
“Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration’s popular encounter programs bring people closer to animals than they ever thought possible,” said Dr. Tracy Romano, senior vice president of research and zoological operations at Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration. “This new program provides young children and others who are unable to participate in our Beluga Encounter Program with the opportunity to connect with our whales and learn about the important work our trainers do to provide the highest levels of animal care and enrichment. As with all our encounter programs, our goal is to nurture a bond between participants and the animals and inspire people to help protect ocean animals in the wild.”
The Whales Up Close program will take place daily, with a limit of six people per session. The program is open to those ages 6 and up (those under 16 must be accompanied by a participating adult). Cost is $49 plus aquarium admission. The program may be purchased on-site or by reservation (recommended) and may be given as a gift. To make a reservation, call (860) 572-5955, ext. 520.
About Sea Research Foundation, Inc.
Mystic Aquarium, Institute for Exploration and Immersion Presents are divisions of Sea Research Foundation, Inc., a private, non-profit, charitable organization incorporated in the State of Connecticut. The mission of Sea Research is to inspire people to care for and protect our ocean planet through education, research and exploration.
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