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I am a New York-based writer, travel lover, and author of The Drive North and Destination Paranormal. I have several other books in the works, including fiction.

Visiting Denver’s Downtown Aquarium

I love going to places like zoos. Rarely do I read the signs pertaining to the different exhibits, but I still find them fascinating. I just love watching the animals, particularly if they seem to have a good area set up for them so they seem happy. I know some people struggle with such places as they see the animals caged and not allowed to live and thrive in their actual habitat. But, if it weren’t for places like these, I believe a lot more animals would be extinct and those habitats just wouldn’t be around; with knowledge and awareness comes protection.
At this risk of running into some large school group on a field trip, I decided to head to the Downtown Aquarium in Denver to see what the place had to offer. It was a school day, and I thought surely there’d be lots of kids running under my feet, but the place was sadly disappointed. I wondered if the groups were there earlier in the day, but there was hardly even an employee to be seen to ask after I purchased my ticket.
A part of me enjoyed the peace and quiet so I could enjoy the animals on my own, but generally the lack of a crowd disappointed me. If people don’t go to such places and support them, even if the tickets run more on the expensive side like here ($15 for a ticket and $7 for parking), they just won’t be around much longer. And if they’re not financially stable so they survive, that means the awareness for the animals a place like this brings will also disappear. I hate to think of that as it can certainly mean reprecussions elsewhere in the world, but can only do so much to support it on my own as well.
Truthfully, the Downtown Aquarium is a great place and one to be proud of for the city of Denver. It’s a well put together aquarium that has many special exhibits. I know I could’ve sat and watched a pair of sea otters do back flips for me for hours. It was as though they knew I was looking for a good photo and were happy to oblige and show off as I snapped away. They were a buzz of energy and activity as they flew around there exhibit.

I enjoyed many of the fish on display too, especially the sharks, and took long periods of time just to stop and watch them swim around. It was all really quite mesmerizing to be honest. I’m not sure I could’ve felt more relaxed when I left, even if they were offering complimentary massages. The place was so nice and the animals appeared to be so well cared for that I left happy and as though my money were well spent.

In hindsight though, I’m not sure if this would’ve been the case if it weren’t for the tiger exhibit. Yeah, I know that it seems a bit odd to have a Sumatran Tiger on display at an aquarium, but they’ve had one there for as long as I can remember. They actually have four on display now, but only one was out for public view during my visit.
The tiger stalked around his cage looking for his dinner, which was recently put out, as he marked his territory. It seemed as though everyone at the aquarium could sense this as a crowd gathered and employees were in abundance to offer information and answer any questions people wondered about. I had nothing to ask, but happily listened in on several conversations as I snapped away.
I enjoyed it immensely and loved the close up opportunity that I had, even if I read “lunch” in his eyes as he jogged on by me. Animal encounters like this make me feel like a kid again. I love seeing and learning about them and hope that the opportunities and knowledge they bring in captivity will in turn help others elsewhere. I know it may be a pipe dream and a lame justification for keeping the animals caged up, but one that I fully buy in to any way as I, for once, push aside my cynicism to enjoy their positive.

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