An expert team of 15 Aquarists at the SEA LIFE London Aquarium is kicking off the new year with a full attraction deep clean of all 62 displays – and there’s never a dull moment even doing chores, when surrounded by almost 7,000 inquisitive animals!
The team began by diving into the magnificent Pacific Reef display to sweep the floors, interrupted briefly by Boris the enormous Green Sea turtle, who received a quick shell scrub as they continued their work. Then moving onto cleaning all of the 150 windows, Aquarist Pete Williams was photo-bombed along the way by a passing one-metre Southern stingray.
Next on the list was the poison dart frog display, where Aquarist Graham Banton was closely supervised by its brightly coloured inhabitants as he spruced up the foliage in their humid home. Brave Aquarist Pete Williams was then charged with climbing into the venomous Lion Fish display covered head to toe in neoprene and chainmail, as just one sting from their venomous spines could paralyse a human. Finally Aquarist Rebecca Carter was tasked with cleaning the outside of the huge one million litre shark display as Betty the Bowmouth guitar shark showed off her impressive two metre frame inside.
Over the last two days, a team of 15 Aquarists have worked on all 62 displays in the attraction, which house a plethora of creatures including a Cuban crocodile, brightly coloured Clownfish, jellyfish and a group of terrapins. The team will continue their clean until the end of this week.
“We do of course clean the animals’ displays all year round, but once a year we like to make sure no stone is left unscrubbed, and every window sparkles for the new year,” explained SEA LIFE London Aquarium’s Curator, Jamie Oliver. “Our animals are used to us being in their displays and on the whole let us get on with it, but some of them, like our Green Sea turtles, are inquisitive and like to join in. It certainly makes cleaning more enjoyable!”