Last Saturday morning we had the wonderful opportunity to go along to the SEALIFE sanctuary in Scarborough for the grand unveiling of their latest resident “Babs the Octopus”. It was a really lovely morning filled with exciting (and even comical) creatures at every turn, with of course the new mesmerising octopus-themed enclosure being a highlight!
Octopus Hideout provides a real insight into the lives and unique habits of these incredible cephalopods and houses the jet-propelled, gas-fuelled prehistoric nautilus; a primitive octopus in a spiral shell that uses its own bodily gases to propel itself around. The cuttlefish – a captivating type of mollusc which can change colour to give itself the perfect camouflage against any background, and the teeny tiny Atlantic Long Arm Octopus, a small sea creature with arms longer than its 90 millimetre body!
In Pride of place is of course Babs! She is one of the biggest octopus species in the world, “the Giant Pacific Octopus” and can weigh up to 50 kilograms and can grow to a huge five metres in length! In addition to its jaw-dropping size, these invertebrates are unbelievably smart; solving mazes, opening jars and disguising themselves along the way by matching their skin to the colour, pattern and texture of the environment surrounding them.
Whilst there we also experienced Penguin Island, which was filled with lots of laughs, performances and cheekiness from the Humboldt penguins. Saw and heard of the work they do in rehabilitation for local seal pups. And enjoyed everything from Jellyfish to seahorses, sharks, rays and the gorgeous Longhead turtle “Antiopi”.
Sealife in Scarborough, to me is a step ahead of your average Aquarium for tourists and this is what gives it a special feel when you visit. Of course it has the wow factor with sharks over head, intriguing penguins and now an octopus. But it is also a home to injured creatures (like Aniopi with brain damage), and a rescue centre for sea creatures great and small. Having grown up just down the road in Bridlington, I have great memories of my visits to Scarborough Sealife in my younger days and I loved taking the kids there last weekend to see what had changed and what great work they continue to do.
I knew they would love it, we all did, especially Megs and her passion for animals, and we were not only impressed with the new Octopus exhibit, but loved everything from the Dory fish to the seals, to jelly fish and Penguins. They were in awe at the “seal hospital” and had many questions not only about each tank and exhibit, but also about the poorly seals and was being done to help them!
It is such a special place, being Yorkshires only seal hospital and a visit there this year will not only guarantee the expected Sealife adventure but will go to help this great cause and give you some understanding on how much is done to help the creatures of our seas! Its just a really great day out together and I hope you can be wowed and touched like we were!
For further information or to pre-book tickets online before your visit please go to www2.visitsealife.com/scarborough. Reduced prices are available for tickets booked in advance.
*Thank you to Scarborough Sealife for inviting us along to their Press morning to experience all of the wonders for Free in return for a write up! All opinions are my own.