Sea the world

Rosedale mall takes a page from MOA and hosts their own menagerie of exotic creatures. Sea Quest

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Sea the world

Andrea Lindner, Reporter

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The second you walk into SeaQuest at the Rosedale Mall, you are faced with a capybara, the world’s largest rodent, immediately informing you that the aquarium offers much more than sea creatures. From fish to otters to coatis, a mammal native to South America, SeaQuest houses a large number of animals from various parts of the world. The aquarium is separated by regions including the Amazon rainforest, the Caribbean and the Egyptian desert.

Guests are welcome to walk from region to region, engaging with multiple creatures along the way. SeaQuest prides itself on encouraging direct interactions with the animals. I had multiple employees in the ‘Denmark Grasslands’ area ask me if there were any animals I wanted to pet or get closer to. General manager Sean Sullivan noted that SeaQuest is really focused on providing a unique experience where guests can directly interact with and personally connect to the animals they are viewing.

According to the SeaQuest website, 395 animals have been rescued by the organization. Shortly after I arrived, an employee stopped me by a komodo dragon and told me that the reptile had been found in a dumpster with part of his tail missing and a large scar across his back. SeaQuest rescued him and nursed him back to health, and he now appears to be doing very well.

“We want people to leave with a better respect and better appreciation for the animals,” Sullivan said.

The key component of the SeaQuest mission is interaction. Husbandry manager Katie Hastings said that the main goal is for people to be excited to attend and enjoy their experience, and to have the animals benefit from that as well.

“We’re trying to be an interactive experience where our guests are given unforgettable experiences that they’re not really going to be able to get anywhere else,” Hastings said.

During my time at SeaQuest, I noticed a large number of young children running around and getting excited about the animals surrounding them. However, parents and older siblings can be assured that young children are safe as SeaQuest is full of trained professionals.

“[It’s] a fun place where [guests] know that they are going to be able to interact with these animals, and it’s going to be a safe place for them to be able to do that in, and they are going to be able to learn,” Hastings said.

Overall, SeaQuest is a family-friendly and affordable venture, with tickets ranging from $12 to $16. The staff truly seems to care about the animals (including the sweet display of a birthday party for Flash the sloth).  However, young children may benefit more from the experience than anyone else, few adults seemed to be visiting without children in tow. If you have any interest in seeing and interacting with animals from all over the world, check out SeaQuest at the Rosedale Mall. The aquarium is open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sundays 11a.m. to 6 p.m.

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