The sharks! We caught them during feeding time. Actually, we arrived when they were about to be fed so we rushed to the tanks, thinking we were the ones who were going to feed them. We didn’t even bother looking at the other displays because we were so eager to see the sharks. They were at the end of the tour and we were disappointed to see that we were only going to watch divers feed them. Horror struck us when we realized we couldn’t go back anymore. The end of the tour went straight to the gift shop, food court and the exit. We explained the situation to the manager and it was a good thing I took random pictures so he believed us. He let us back in and we got to enjoy the sharks again.
One of my favorite rooms in the aquarium was the one dedicated to saving sharks. They included facts and news and a timeline of how people are abusing them. The most horrifying tale is the one about shark finning, or the removal of a shark’s fin for the production of shark’s fin soup, a luxury item in the world of cuisine. According to the information given, the removal of the fin (finning) takes place at sea so fishermen don’t need to carry the entire fish. Most of the time, they would just slice the fin off and throw the shark back to the sea to bleed to death. The demand for shark’s fin has risen dramatically because of the middle class becoming richer and has resulted in the capture of 70 million sharks a year as of 2010. The worst thing is, the fin doesn’t even contribute to the flavor of the soup.
Our next stop was the Shanghai Natural Wild-Insect Kingdom, a short walk from Oriental Pearl Tower and the Ocean Aquarium. The place didn’t meet my expectations.
They did have a cute array of mammals, from the sugar glider to a species of monkey none of us could identify. The sugar glider is a marsupial found in Australia known for their preference of eating sweet sap from species of eucalyptus, acacia and gum trees. I found this out while I was making this entry and all the while I thought they were called sugar gliders because of their wide eyes and constant shaking.
They also had rabbits, hamsters, a goat, mice, and an owl. You can pet most of these.
Their collection of bugs was disappointing. They only had a few and most of them were in little cages in aquariums, making them hard to see and appreciate. The big ones weren’t interesting and I even found one struggling to get on its feet. It was sad. The Butterfly Garden in Sentosa, Singapore was far more interesting.
The turtles and reptiles were more fascinating and extensive. The lizard exhibits had the right amount of freak in it so it compensated for the lack of insects. The turtles were okay but there has got the something wrong with an insect museum with more turtles in it.