Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Mermaids & Dugongs at Sydney Aquarium

I spotted this gorgeous pic in an advert in the Sunday papers and was completely in raptures. It's the promo image for the new Mermaid Lagoon exhibit at Sydney Aquarium. The tropical water oceanarium habitat features two dugongs (Pig, a 10-year old male and Wuru, a four-year old female). Only five are on exhibition around the world and Sydney is the only place in Australia where you can get close up and personal with them. The tank also features turtles, schooling fish and rays.

According to the media release:
[Dugong] numbers are declining in the wild due to a number of human threats including degradation of habitat, boating injuries, and drowning in nets. 
These two were raised at Sea World after being rescued as orphan calves before being brought to the Sydney Aquarium.

In the past, superstitious sailors and pirates often mistook dugongs for mermaids, thereby creating the mythology. I believe they both exist, but who am I am to say – I'm just a writer! Check out full exhibition details on the Sydney Aquarium website. Jozef and I are dusting off our walking shoes and heading down to Darling Harbour once the holiday crowds thin out. Thanks to Loren Pawlik, Sydney Aquarium Media Communications Executive for allowing us to use the video.

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