Marine Animal Medical: Visit the Aquarium Care Center - NBC Southern California

Marine Animal Medical: Visit the Aquarium Care Center

Watch how staffers tend to the otters, penguins, and resident sharks.



    Marine Animal Medical: Visit the Aquarium Care Center
    Aquarium of the Pacific
    Visitors to the Aquarium of the Pacific can observe aquatic medicine in action at the Molina Animal Care Center. As for the Aquarium's big 5K? That heads out on Sept. 6.

    If you can recall visiting zoos and aquariums a few decades back, you likely remember a distinct dividing line between the animals you saw splashing in pools or snoozing on boulders and the care and feeding of those animals, those necessary daily duties that happened off-stage and tucked well behind-the-scenes.

    That's changed, and is changing. Many "back walls" have been raised in a plethora of public-facing institutions, and animal parks are among the ones at the forefront of this movement. Look to the Walnut Creek Wildlife Hospital, which gives summer visitors a view to beastie check-ups, and the kitchen at the Santa Barbara Zoo, which provides visitors a peek at the residents' meals for the day.

    The Molina Animal Care Center at the Aquarium of the Pacific is another such "open-wall" area. The center "provides enhanced healthcare to our animals as well as opportunities for our guests to view veterinary medicine in action." Quarantine areas, high-powered microscopes, x-ray technology, and other medical necessities fill out the 14,000-square-foot space, which debuted in 2010.

    Interactive kiosks help visitors get up-to-speed on how marine animals are tended to in the center while a staffer explains a live procedure once every day. There are viewing windows, which may give you a view to "an otter getting its teeth cleaned."

    That? We want to see. Like, a lot.

    And just ahead for the Aquarium? The 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, Sept. 6 is a biggie, and takes in some of the pretty coastline around the institution. But, before that, two baby penguins, born behind-the-scenes, will make their waddly debut at the June Keyes Penguin Habitat on Wednesday, Aug. 27.

    Follow NBCLA for the latest LA news, events and entertainment:iPhone/iPad App | Facebook| Twitter | Google+ | Instagram | RSS | Email Alerts