Tiff convinced me to sign up for the Wildlife Conservation Society's 5K Run for the Wild, and I convinced three other friends, and then my voice teacher announced she would be running, too, and suddenly - it was a party out on Coney Island!
|Coney Island Aquarium|
We were running for these guys - the mighty walri!*
Fact: walri are gigantic and weird-looking creatures.
Another fact: they're in danger. From the Wildlife Conservation Society's website:
"Like so many Arctic denizens, walruses are facing increasing threats to their survival as they cope with the impacts of a changing climate and increased industrialization of the Arctic. The sea ice that they have long depended on in summer for feeding and resting is rapidly disappearing.
As a result, they must forage in shallow coastal waters and haul out on land to rest, a risky adaptation. Food is in shorter supply near the coast, and walrus calves are prone to serious injury and death in the tight beach quarters, where stampedes can erupt from the merest of disturbances.
In addition, the surge in shipping traffic and natural resource extraction in the increasingly ice-free waters between Alaska and Russia poses various dangers, from oil spills to industrial noise that interferes with wildlife behavior and navigation."
Now you know. We're making life rough for the walri. Let's be kinder to them - those ugly mugs need our help!
After the 5K run, we walked around the Coney Island Aquarium and had a nice visit with their wildlife. I do love aquariums - sealife is so varied! And fascinating! And colorful! And sometimes frightening! (thinking of you, hammerhead sharks)
The sea otters were nowhere to be found (sadness), but the penguins were out & about, hamming it up for the camera. They really seemed to be eating up all the attention they were receiving. (No judgment, penguins - just making an observation.)
The run began at 8am (crikey) and by 8:45am our crew had run the course, stretched and re-hydrated. "Time for a hot dog?" asked Mr. SBG, and we had no good argument for not walking down the boardwalk to Nathan's. When in Coney Island...
Walri, kraut, sea breezes, funny friends? A good morning.
*I know the proper plural is 'walruses' but I prefer 'walri.' Just let me have it.
Update: The Coney Island Aquarium was hit by Hurricane Sandy, but seems to be doing ok.