Working at the Vancouver Aquarium has many highlights. Being near amazing animals every day and talking about the Aquarium’s incredible conservation efforts is just one benefit. For Jennifer D., the best part of her day is when she can bring people into the Aquarium’s world through an animal encounter. As the interpretive specialist for animal encounters, Jennifer manages and delivers the encounter programs.

Jennifer loves what she does: “I really enjoy delivering shows, which help people discover some really cool facts about the animals here, but I may not be able to answer some of the questions, like ‘What can’t we see that takes care of these animals?’” she says. “Through animal encounters, I get the opportunity to answer in-depth questions like this one, and more. By having a personal interaction with an animal and learning about them at the same time, the Aquarium’s animal encounters give visitors a chance to really connect with their favourite animal. These animals are ambassadors with stories that I am thrilled to share.”

For members of the public, going on an animal encounter means they will experience an exciting interactive presentation before heading behind the scenes. The chance for guests to see what’s behind our beautiful Aquarium walls is really something special. There’s some “fishy” business that goes on back there, but it’s always a lot of fun to see.

Finally, the encounter will bring guests face to face, or maybe even hand to flipper, with the animal that the guests are meeting. “I am a hands-on kind of person, and these encounters really get the visitor involved,” says Jennifer. “This can be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and it’s an amazing experience every time I bring someone to meet a beluga or sea turtle or whichever animal it might be.”

At any point in the year, visitors have an opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the Aquarium’s most mysterious creatures. From belugas to sea lions, to sea otters or a sea turtle, there is bound to be something for everyone. So the next time you come in for a visit, why not ask yourself, “Would I like to do something really special today?” and you may just find yourself hanging out in the fish house, making a beluga its dinner!

For more information about the Aquarium’s animal encounters, visit our website here.

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