August 30. Our second day in Seward consisted of a visit to the Alaska Sealife Center before we headed north up the Kenai. The construction of this center was funded largely by Exxon as part of the Exxon Valdez oil spill settlement. It has some features of a zoo and museum, but mostly it is to rescue, rehabilitate, and release injured, abandoned, and ill marine mammals and other sea creatures. They also do a lot of research there. 4 R's - rescue, rehabilitate, release, and research.
We paid extra for a behind the scenes tour, and a nice young woman gave us a 1 hour tour going through many of the labs, rescue tanks, research areas, and engineering space of this impressive facility. I took a few photos of some of the animals in the exhibit space. My favorite exhibit was the seabirds, where you could even see some of them diving and "flying" underwater.
The puffins are really cute. We saw many of them yesterday on the Kenai Fjords cruise, but not this close.
Horned puffin Tufted puffin
Horned puffin spashing around in its pool Murres
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