An expert team of aquarists at the SEA LIFE London Aquarium are kicking off 2014 with a full attraction clean up of all 63 displays, preparing the leading South Bank attraction for a new year.
The team began by diving inside the shark display and first polishing the five metre long glass walkway, situated above the home of over 22 of the magnificent creatures before sweeping the floor and polishing the glass inside - all closely watched by an inquisitive Bowmouth Guitar shark who did her bit and joined in with the sweeping!
Next on the list was ray lagoon, where aquarist Lance Neal was closely supervised by a ray as he polished the glass. He was then tasked with climbing into a beautifully landscaped display to prune the live foliage, all overseen by the inhabitants – a 12 strong group of Red Bellied piranhas.
Over the last two days, a team of five aquarists have worked on all 63 displays in the attraction, housing creatures including colourful tropical fish, two giant rare Green sea turtles, a Cuban crocodile, 14 poison dart frogs and a group of terrapins – one of whom received a well-deserved shell scrub. The final job on the list was to clean the specially created Antarctic home of a colony of Gentoo penguins, a job the penguins thoroughly enjoyed as they splashed and chased the hose whilst the team attempted to clean around them!
“We do of course clean the animals displays all year round, but once a year we like to make sure every window shines and every last pebble is looking squeaky clean all at once for the new year ahead,” explained SEA LIFE London Aquarium’s Curator, Jamie Oliver. “Most of the animals are used to us being in their displays and let us get on with it, but some, including the Bowmouth Guitar shark and the penguins, are very inquisitive and like to join in! It certainly makes the job more fun.”