London, UK: 20.01.16 The team at SEA LIFE London Aquarium ensured the new year got off to the freshest of starts with its annual week-long deep clean of the South Bank attraction. A total of 16 aquarists and specialist staff embarked on the mammoth task of cleaning the 63 displays under the watchful eye of more than 6,000 of its aquatic inhabitants.
One of the toughest tasks undertaken by the team this new year was cleaning the impressive 750,000 litre Ocean display, home to 20 different species, where an inquisitive Ray was determined to be part of the action.
Aquarists then dived deep into the Pacific Reef display, for the challenging job of cleaning this gigantic tank surrounded by sharks! Curator, Jamie Oliver, used the opportunity to gather teeth shed by the resident sharks to use in the attraction’s educational programmes. Many species of shark can lose one or two teeth per week and grow replacements approximately every two weeks.
With the attraction’s vast array of creatures encompassing over five hundred species the task will take until the end of the week. From the resident Cuban crocodile and common octopus, the popular clownfish and Blue Tang in Nemo’s Kingdom, majestic seahorses, colourful coral and everything in between, all the displays will be attended to.
SEA LIFE London Aquarium’s Curator, Jamie Oliver, commented: “We of course maintain our displays all year round, but the January deep clean has become a bit of a tradition now and is a good way to make sure the whole aquarium is gleaming, ready for the year ahead. It’s a big undertaking but one that the team, and it seems some of our animals, particularly enjoy. ”
The SEA LIFE London Aquarium, situated on London’s South Bank, is open every day for visitors to enjoy more than 6,000 animals PLUS additional experiences including Behind the Scenes Tour, VIP Turtle feed, VIP Shark Feed and Snorkelling with Sharks.
CAPTIONS for the SEA LIFE London Aquarium’s annual deep clean
1. 20.1.16 An inquisitive Ray swims into view during the SEA LIFE London Aquarium’s annual deep clean which began yesterday.
2. 20.01.16 A giant Ray photo-bombs SEA LIFE London Aquarist Graham Banton as he cleans the glass of the 750,000 litre Ocean Display as part of the annual January deep clean of the South Bank attraction.
3. 20.01.16 An aquarist cleans algae from the Lined Seahorse display at the SEA LIFE London Aquarium during the annual January deep clean of the South Bank attraction yesterday.
4. 20.01.16 Curator, Jamie Oliver, collects teeth shed by the resident sharks at the SEA LIFE London Aquarium as part of the annual January deep clean of the South Bank attraction. Many species of shark can lose one or two teeth per week, and grow replacements approximately every two weeks.
5. 20.01.16 A Ray joins SEA LIFE London Aquarium Aquarist Rebecca Carter for a quick ‘selfie’ during the annual January deep clean of the South Bank attraction.
6 & 9. 20.01.16 SEA LIFE London Aquarium team member Natalie Rowan works behind the scenes to clean the Moon Jellyfish display as part of the annual January clean up at the South Bank attraction. These captivating creatures can be seen on the Behind the Scenes tour at the aquarium.
7. 20.01.16 An aquarist takes cuttings from coral on display in the SEA LIFE London Aquarium’s reef display. This is to make room for the other corals to grow, and the cuttings will go to the Behind the Scenes area to start a new coral population for other displays.
8. 20.01.16 It’s dangerous work for SEA LIFE London Aquarium aquarist and diver Pete Williams as he scrubs algae off a monumental sculpture within the attraction’ s Pacific Wreck Display.
10 & 12. 20.01.16 Aquarists Graham Banton and Rebecca Carter begin the mammoth task of cleaning the bed of SEA LIFE London Aquarium’s enormous Pacific Ocean Display during the annual January deep clean of the South Bank attraction yesterday.
11. 20.01.16 Aquarist Pete Williams cleans the SEA LIFE London Aquarium’s Common Pipefish display during the annual January deep clean of the South Bank aquarium.
13. 20.01.16 SEA LIFE London Aquarium Aquarist Graham Banton spruces up the Red Bellied Piranhas’ display during the annual January deep clean of the South Bank attraction. These fish have a fearsome reputation but will rarely attack anything that is living, preferring to scavenge for their food instead.
14. 20.01.16 SEA LIFE London Aquarium Aquarist Graham Banton cleans the popular ‘Nemo’ display surrounded by Clownfish, as part of the annual January deep clean of the South Bank attraction.
MERLIN ENTERTAINMENTS plc is the leading name in location-based, family entertainment. Europe’s Number 1 and the world’s second-largest visitor attraction operator, Merlin now operates 111 attractions, 12 hotels/4 holiday villages in 23 countries and across 4 continents. The company aims to deliver memorable and rewarding experiences to its almost 63 million visitors worldwide, through its iconic global and local brands, and the commitment and passion of its managers and c26,000 employees (peak season).
Among Merlin’s attractions are – SEA LIFE, Madame Tussauds, LEGOLAND, DreamWorks Tours SHREK’s Adventure, The London Eye, Dungeons, Gardaland, LEGOLAND Discovery Centres, Alton Towers Resort, Warwick Castle, THORPE PARK Resort, Blackpool Tower, Heide Park Resort, Sydney Tower Eye and SKYWALK. All brands which are distinctive, challenging and innovative – and which have great potential for growth in the future.
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