Under the sea Under the sea Darling it's better Down where it's wetter Take it from me Up on the shore they work all day Out in the sun they slave away While we devotin' Full time to floatin' Under the sea
~’Under the Sea’, The Little Mermaid
This week, we head to the iconic, Loch Lomond for an underwater adventure. However, for this trip, we aren’t going into the Loch, but visiting SEA LIFE, a lovely aquarium situated on its banks. Nevertheless, SEA LIFE does a fantastic job of making you feel like you’ve ventured ‘under the sea’. So, join us for our virtual marine journey as we explore a bit of what it has to offer.
There are SEA LIFE aquariums across the globe, but there is something special about visiting the one at world-famous Loch Lomond. We love to visit aquariums (read more about our visit to Deep Sea World: Scotland’s National Aquarium) whenever we get the chance; especially so that we can learn more about their conservation work (more on that a bit later) and how we can help.
There is much to see and do at SEA LIFE Loch Lomond as they are home to over 1500 species! On the ground level is where you find diverse marine life. Be sure to take your time exploring every nook and cranny. Here are just a few photos of some of the sea creatures you can see:
We next venture to visit the delightful Asian Short Clawed Otters- Lily, Pickle, and Cub. It is always fun to watch otters play (we are fortunate to have some closer to home at our local Edinburgh Zoo), and the adorable trio at SEA LIFE Loch Lomond did not disappoint. Their habitat is quite intricate and looks like a perfect place where they can play and have fun all day.
As you walk through SEA LIFE Loch Lomond, it provides a relaxing environment that transports you to various underwater environments. This experience is particularly enhanced as you enter the ocean tunnel where it feels as if you are swimming with the sharks, rays, and various other marine life. Although, I’m going to be honest, while it was thrilling to watch the sharks swim overhead, I appreciate the glass barrier that was between us. Scroll through the photos below to enjoy your own virtual experience:
SEA LIFE Loch Lomond is fun for all ages but excels at being family friendly. In addition to the fascinating marine life on the ground floor, situated just above is the Octonauts Cinema that is sure to be a hit with the kids.
After that, head to level 3, and the coffee shop. No matter your age, it is nice to take a break from exploring for a wee snack (as I always say- you can never go wrong with cake and coffee) or even lunch. However, they take it a step further because wall-to-wall windows allow you to enjoy the stunning views of Loch Lomond while you enjoy your treats.
You also have the option to eat lunch outside at the picnic tables on level 4. However, be sure to visit this outdoor viewing deck even if you aren’t eating as the sites are simply magnificent.
Now more than ever, it is essential that we care for our seas and learn about our friends who make them their home so that we can help keep their populations thriving and growing. Fortunately, SEA LIFE Trust is a charity who is doing all of that and more! In fact, they state that they “support practical local projects to protect our oceans and wildlife, we champion the need for plastic-free oceans, sustainable fishing, effective Marine Protected Areas, and an end to the over-exploitation of our marine wildlife around the world”.
According to the Trust, their current focus is on sea turtles, and there is one lovely sweetie who lives at SEA LIFE Loch Lomond and is a fortunate beneficiary of this work. Without further ado, we would like to introduce you to April and tell you a little bit of her amazing story of how she was rescued and now makes SEA LIFE her home.
SEA LIFE Loch Lomond explains that April, an Olive Ridley turtle, was found entangled in a fishing net- a ghost net- as well as a plastic bag in the Maldives. The rescue group that found her estimate that she had probably been in the net for a couple of weeks and self-amputated her front right flipper. She was taken to the Marine Savers Rehabilitation Facility at the Four Seasons Landa Giraavaru, Maldives. There, she was treated and nursed back to health for two and half years.
Unfortunately, because she is missing her flipper, she suffers from buoyancy syndrome. This means she can’t dive down to get food or escape the heat of the sun or predators. Therefore, April couldn’t be returned to the wild and needed to be relocated to a forever home that would be safe and suitable for her.
April then undertook quite an incredible journey of over 5,000 miles as part of a partnership between SEA LIFE and Marine Savers’ Flying Turtles Project. Travelling via plane, she eventually made her way to SEA LIFE Loch Lomond where she can now live a more normal life and be well looked after. April is now a wonderful ambassador for the Maldivian Sea Turtle Conservation Program. SEA LIFE does an excellent job at helping visitors realise the importance of marine conservation work. Their partner charity, SEA LIFE Trust, needs our help to support their work. You can find out more of how you can get involved on their website.
Well, I hope you have enjoyed our little adventure ‘under the sea’. This has just been a quick glimpse into SEA LIFE Loch Lomond, but we highly recommend you pay them a visit in person. Head to their website for more information on how to best plan your visit.
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Until next time- Explore & Discover!