Wild and Domestic: Bengal Cats and Kittens at SeaQuest

Wild and Domestic: Bengal Cats and Kittens at SeaQuest

Majestic, agile, and playful; these are just some of the qualities that define the Bengal Cat. But did you know there’s more to the history of this paw-some creature? 

Bengal Cats are a cross between domestic and Asian Leopard Cats; this classifies them as a hybrid breed. These gorgeous felines typically have a gold coat with a mix of unique markings, including spots and arrowheads. Although they are a hybrid breed, Bengal Cats are considered domesticated when they are 4-5 generations removed from an Asian Leopard Cat parent. It’s wild to think these domesticated Bengals even exist, but their origin is even more wild.

WILD History

Being a hybrid breed, these majestic cats were engineered for a specific purpose. The first recorded cross between a domesticated cat and an Asian Leopard Cat was in 1963. The pioneer responsible for this breed’s emergence is Jean Mill, who wanted to reduce hunting for the fur and pet trade. She believed that if people could have domestic pets that looked like Asian Leopard Cats, they would not want to wear leopard cat fur, and fewer wild cats would be hunted for fur or exotic pets. 

Twenty years later, in 1983, Mill was successful in getting the Bengal Cat recognized by The International Cat Association. She suggested that all breeders wait for a few generations before registering Bengal Cats with The International Cat Association to ensure that they were fully domesticated. Mill went on to promote the breed throughout her life and is acknowledged as the breed’s originator and increasing popularity of the breed. Without her efforts, we would not be able to enjoy these domesticated Bengals and their adorable features.

Pawsitively Adorable Kittens

It’s a common belief that domesticated cats don’t exert much energy. Household cats sleep an average of 12-16 hours a day, but the Bengal Cat is no ordinary feline. With their energetic personalities and need to stay active, Bengal Cats are always fun to be around! 

  • Bengal Cats are known to be full of energy and require an active lifestyle in order to stay healthy.
  • Bengal cats were called Safari Cats until the 1970s when their name was changed to reflect the Asian Leopard Cat’s scientific name.
  • Bengal Cats are incredibly energetic and love to be playful. 
  • Bengal Cats will even defy stereotypes and play in the water!
  • You won’t catch these cats meowing like every other housecat! Bengal Cats are known for their dry meow that sounds more like a bark. 
  • Unlike the ordinary housecat, Bengal Cats love to retrieve items.
  • Their athleticism means that Bengal Cats tend to have a muscular build. 

So how can you meet a Bengal Cat in-person?

Book Your Bengal Cat and Kitten Interaction Today

Bengal Cats, although domesticated, can be expensive to own and maintain. Much like other engineered breeds, they can suffer an array of health conditions that can be costly to maintain. Adding in the excessive amount of activity this breed needs and the limitations on owning them, the Bengal Cat can be challenging to own. 

But there is a solution! When you visit SeaQuest    , you will have the opportunity to see and interact with these spectacular cats! All you have to do is purchase admission tickets below, and you’ll have instant access to live Bengal Cats. We guarantee it to be a purr-fect experience. 

Want to learn more about other animals at SeaQuest? Read our blogs on the animals adopted at SeaQuest & the curious Blacktip Reef Shark. We can’t wait to SEA you at SeaQuest soon!

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Rescue a Friend for Life

Rescue a Friend for Life

We have built our company based on animal and environmental preservation. At SeaQuest, we care a great deal about our environment and the animals that call it home. Each year, millions of animals enter shelters around the world. This is why SeaQuest wants to encourage you to open your heart and adopt a companion animal today! 

Pet Rescue: Adopt a Fur-ever Friend

We all love a cute puppy, but did you know that it is proven that owning a pet keeps you healthier and happier? It’s true! The unparalleled love of a pet can do more than just keep you company. There is actually scientific data that shows the physical and mental benefits to owning a fur-ever friend. Owning a pet is proven to keep you happier and healthier, so what are you waiting for?

Some of the benefits include:

  • Decreased blood pressure 
  • Lower cholesterol levels
  • Can reduce anxiety and chronic pain
  • Increased socialization
  • Increased activity levels
  • Decreases mood swings
  • Lower triglycerides
  • Improved immune system
  • Proven to stop children from developing allergies

Adopt, Don’t Shop

Every year over 6.5 million companion animals enter shelters nationwide, making the number of animals suffering from homelessness outnumber people five times. Most of these animals are either strays or have been surrendered by a family who could no longer maintain the pet.

Unfortunately, many of the animals that are rescued by shelters are not spayed or neutered, leading to overcrowding of shelters. Due to the overpopulation of the animals in shelters, 1.5 million are euthanized. Only one out of ten dogs born will find their forever home, but there is still hope.

Around 3.2 million shelter animals are adopted each year. Adopting a furry friend from your local shelter can provide a lucky pet with a forever home and potentially save their life. 

SeaQuest Supporting Animal Adoption

At SeaQuest, we firmly believe in adopting pets from your local shelter. In fact, we adopt a large number of animals housed at SeaQuest! Rescued from dangerous environmental situations or just an owner who was unable to care for them, we have many SeaQuest friends who have found their fur-ever home with us. 

Some of our SeaQuest friends that have found their home with us: 

  • Toothless the Axolotl at SeaQuest Littleton

Toothless’ previous owners rescued him from a tank where larger fish had bitten off his tail and parts of his limbs. In March 2019, Toothless joined us at SeaQuest and loves to see visitors. Meet him at SeaQuest Littleton.

  • Loki the Sulcata Tortoise at SeaQuest Folsom

Loki joined SeaQuest in 2018 from the Arizona Herpetological Society, who rescued him from a previous owner who was unable to take care of him. Loki’s shell was mutilated from lack of sunlight and diet at his first home. When the Arizona Herpetological Society took him in, they replaced the affected shell portion with fiberglass. He now enjoys napping under his heaters and UVB lights at his home in SeaQuest Folsom. 

  • Koka the Umbrella Cockatoo at SeaQuest Utah

Koka was a pet who had plucked out her feathers due to the stress of moving from home to home. In 2019, she moved into SeaQuest, Utah, where she is taken care of by SeaQuest’s bird husbandry team and consistent daily interactions. 

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The Magical Moon Jellyfish

The Magical Moon Jellyfish

Jellyfish are difficult to tell apart, so if you come across a jellyfish at the beach or at SeaQuest    , it can be difficult to know what kind of jellyfish you’re looking at! If you see a jelly with a white translucent bell and four horseshoe-shaped pink or purple circles, you’ve likely found a Moon Jellyfish! 

Moon Jellyfish are fascinating creatures that can be found in coastal waters all around the world. They are most often found near the coastlines of North America and Europe, where the temperatures are close to their ideal. The moon jellyfish can survive in temperatures between 21 and 88 degrees Fahrenheit but prefers the range of 48 to 66 degrees. .

 

Live Jellyfish in Space!

In 1991, 2,478 jellyfish polyps (an early phase of the jellyfish life where they attach to surfaces) went to space in the space shuttle Columbia! Scientists wanted to study the effect weightlessness would have on the jellyfish as they developed. Like humans, jellyfish use calcium crystals to sense gravity and judge which way is up. Scientists were hoping to compare the development of the calcium crystals in space to those on Earth, in hopes of getting a glimpse at how people born in space might adjust. 

They discovered that the calcium crystals seemed to develop normally while in space. When the jellyfish returned to earth, there were over 60,000 of them! However, when they came back down, scientists found that the jellyfish who had been born in space had a hard time telling which was up and down. The new jellyfish suffered from a bad case of vertigo!

Jellyfish Communities

In the wild, Jellyfish can form into large groups or “smacks.” These smacks can then congregate into larger groups called blooms— which can consist of over a thousand jellies. Blooms are more likely to form in the summer months since the rising temperatures encourage the jellyfish to reach maturity more quickly. 

There are many causes of blooms: overfishing of jellyfish predators, coastal development, and water becoming oxygen-deprived. With fewer predators, more of the jellies are likely to survive in an area. Coastal development gives extra space for jellyfish polyps to form, so more jellyfish will be born in an area. Oxygen-deprived regions are difficult for most species to endure, but jellies thrive there! In those areas, there are less likely to be predators, which helps them survive. 

 

 Make Your Friends ‘Jelly’ With These Fun Moon Jellyfish Facts

  • Moon Jellyfish are also known as moon jellies, saucer jellies, and common sea jellies. 
  • Jellyfish are made up of 95% water and have no blood or heart.
  • Moon Jellies are carnivorous, feeding on organisms like crustaceans, diatoms, protozoans, mollusks, tunicate larvae, and rotifers. 
  • Common predators of the moon jellyfish include birds, sea turtles, and fish. In South-East Asia, moon jellies are even a common snack to humans.
  • Moon Jellyfish are able to survive in a variety of conditions, and can even thrive in dirty, polluted water that is low in oxygen.
  • Moon jellyfish are considered harmless to humans because although they are venomous, their stingers aren’t capable of penetrating our skin! 

If you’re planning your trip to SeaQuest    , make sure to leave plenty of time to watch the moon jellyfish in their habitat. While you’re there, check out the other amazing animals that call our facility home, like the Blacktip Reef Shark or our friendly Iguanas

Make sure to book your tickets to meet the moon jellyfish at SeaQuest     today! Buy your SeaQuest Tickets here!

Meet The Largest Rodent In The World, The Capybara

Meet The Largest Rodent In The World, The Capybara

Capybaras are fascinating little creatures! They’re easily recognized because of their peculiar body shape and adorable coloration. This endearing mammal has a dense, barrel-shaped body with short head and reddish-brown fur on top, while the fur on the underside turns yellowish-brown. 

Commonly found in South America, Capybaras can be found in Panama, Colombia, Brazi, Argentina, Venezuela, Peru, French Guiana, Paraguay, and Uruguay. They live in the dense rainforests that run alongside bodies of water — lakes, streams, rivers, ponds, swamps, and marshes. If you can’t make it down to the rainforests of South America, the next best place to see a Capybara is at SeaQuest    .

 

Their Fascinating Herbivorous Diet

While the Capybara is an herbivorous animal, meaning it eats plants, it has an even fancier name for what it likes to eat. They’re graminivores, this means that they are a herbivore that feeds primarily on grasses. In the wild, they love to graze on water plants and grasses and 80% of their daily diet is made up of five species of grasses. How much grass does it take to feed a capybara? The average capybara eats between six and eight pounds of fresh grass a day.

Capybaras are almost more at home in the water than on land. Their webbed toes and ability to hold their breath underwater for up to five minutes make them excellent swimmers. If a predator is nearby or tries to attack them, they’ll dive into the water and swim out of danger. In the heat of midday, they’ll even take a dip in the water to avoid the heat. 

 

Social Life Of The Capybara

These highly social creatures live in groups of 10-30. In some situations, they can even form herds of up to 100 capybaras. They are chatty little animals who squeak, chirp, and bark around their family. Capybaras give birth to a litter of one to seven pups at a time, with the average being three, following a 120-day pregnancy. 

The capybara is also known for its highly friendly behavior. They’ve been spotted hanging out with creatures of all kinds – not just other capybaras. Some of their other friends include turtles, ducks, fawns, monkeys, and other random birds. 

 

Fun Facts About the ‘Capy’-est Rodent Around

  • Their home range is between 25 and 50 acres. 
  • Capybaras can sleep in the water! They keep their nose just above the waterline as they doze. 
  • They are crepuscular animals, this means that they are most active during dawn or dusk.
  • Like all rodents, the Capybaras teeth never stop growing. They are constantly being ground down by the grasses they eat. 
  • The Capybara is also known as the “master of the grasses,” and comes from the name Kapiyva in the indigenous language of Guarani.

Capybaras aren’t the only other fun animal to meet at SeaQuest    . If you’re looking to see a creature that looks like it’s right out of outer space, the Axolotl is sure to fascinate. However, if you want to meet someone just as sweet as the Capybara, make sure to stop by and meet Marina the Mermaid.

 

Make sure to book your tickets to meet the capybaras at SeaQuest     today! Buy your SeaQuest Tickets here!

Learn more about SeaQuest in    , our animals, and VIP specials when you sign up here.

 

The Curious Blacktip Reef Shark

The Curious Blacktip Reef Shark

Easily recognized by the black tips that adorn all of their fins, the blacktip reef shark is one of the most common reef sharks. If you’re visiting a reef in the Indo-Pacific ocean or the Mediterranean Sea, you’re likely to come across the grey reef shark, whitetip reef shark, and the blacktip reef shark. But if you are near SeaQuest     you can see all of them just a short drive away from home! 

Blacktip Reef Sharks are commonly found up to 20 meters deep, but on rare occasions can be found more than 50 meters! Often, you’ll see them swimming along with their dorsal fin sticking out of the top of the water. 

 

The Shy and Reserved Reef Predator

Blacktip Reef Sharks are definitely homebodies! Researchers studying the blacktip reef shark off the Palmyra Atoll found they have an average home range of about 21 square miles, the smallest of any species of shark. 

The Blacktip Reef Shark is a shy but curious shark. When new divers enter the water, they’ll often swim over to check them out. They are also wary and easily frightened, so they are quickly scared off. Due to their presence in the shallow reefs, Blacktip Reef Sharks often find themselves coming into contact with people. There has never been a fatal attack on a human by a blacktip reef shark, however.

 

Jawesome Blacktip Reef Shark Facts

  • The Blacktip Reef Shark reaches a maximum size of 6.6 feet and 30 pounds.
  • Blacktip Reef sharks reach maturity at a little over three feet in length for females and males at around three feet. After a gestation period of up to 14 months, they give birth to 2-5 pups, with 4 being the most common amount. Although commonly confused with the Blacktip Shark, the two species are very different. 
  • They are opportunistic feeders, but some of their favorite foods are crustaceans, squid, octopus, and bony fish. 
  • Some families in Hawaii see this shark as their “aumakua” or spirit guardian.

 

The Blacktip Reef Shark’s Conservation Status

Like most shark species, the blacktip reef shark population is on the decline. While they are not an endangered species at this time, they are noted as near threatened. Unfortunately, they are often caught as the by-product of gill net fishing. They are also fished for their fins, meat, and liver oil. 

While the Blacktip Reef Shark may be one fascinating species, you might want to check out the mysterious Axolotl here at SeaQuest    ! If landlubbers are more your style, you might want to check out the noble Green Iguana.

 

If you’ve never been lucky enough to see a Blacktip Reef Shark, come to SeaQuest    , and watch them today! Buy your SeaQuest Tickets here!

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Meet the Noble Iguana, Prince of Lizards

Meet the Noble Iguana, Prince of Lizards

Meet the Noble Iguana, Prince of Lizards at SeaQuest    

The green Iguana is a large herbivorous reptile naturally found in most warm climate areas such as southern Brazil, Paraguay, and Mexico. If the Komodo Dragon is the king of lizards, this slightly smaller cousin is definitely the Prince of Lizards. With their noble appearance and gentle nature, it’s not hard to see why so many people love these wonderful reptiles.  

 

What Does an Herbivore Eat?

The Green Iguana is an herbivore, meaning it survives off of a diet of plants and fruit. In the wild they eat mostly leaves, vines, fruits, and flowers. A favorite food of Iguanas in Panama is the wild plum. Iguanas in captivity are fed a balanced diet of turnip greens, fruits, mustard greens, flowers, dandelion greens, and growing shoots of various plants. With the help of our vets at SeaQuest    , we are able to ensure our herbivorous friends get the best diet possible.

The Iguana equivalent of junk food is meat. On rare occasions, they’ve been seen eating eggs or small insects in the wild. Scientists studying these magnificent lizards have found that a heavy diet of meat or insects is hazardous to Iguanas, and they don’t appear to receive any benefits from eating it. So why do they do it? Scientifically, there is no rhyme or reason to this, so most experts just call it iguana junk food. 

 

An Iguana’s Guide to Reptile Communication

The small flap of skin under an iguanas chin is called the dewlap. The dewlap is used to communicate with other iguanas and make themselves look bigger to other predators. You can watch their head and dewlap movements to understand what they’re trying to tell you. To talk to one another, they move their dewlap and bob their head. When they begin to bob their head quickly, it is a sign that the Iguana is upset, but slower head bobs are used to greet one another. 

 

Speedy Facts About The Iguana

  • Iguanas are fast creatures, they can reach speeds up to 21 MPH.
  • Iguanas have a long lifespan. In captivity, they can live for more than 20 years. Some iguanas have been known to live to be 30 years old. 
  • Iguanas can reach up to 6’ from nose to tail tip, and more than half of that length is just their tail. The average adult male iguana will weigh 9 pounds, but some have been recorded to reach 18 pounds.
  • Even though they’re called ‘green’ iguanas, they actually come in a variety of colors! You can find them in blue, orange, and even purple. Their tough, colorful skin acts as camouflage to help them hide in the wild
  • Due to tropical storms and the pet trade, the green Iguana has begun to set up colonies in new areas. In 1995, 15 wild iguanas arrived in the Caribbean after a hurricane, sailing in on downed trees. Within two years, the colony was established. By 2012, it’s believed the population reached 4 million.
  • Green Iguanas are excellent swimmers. When confronted by a predator, they’ll dive into nearby water and swim away from danger.
  • Iguanas love to spend time in trees, and can survive a fall of 40 to 50 feet without injury! 

The Green Iguana isn’t the only fascinating creature we have at SeaQuest    . If you’re looking to meet an animal that looks like it comes from deep in outer space, the Axolotl is always a blast. If you’re looking to meet a friend from the deep sea, you might just love the fantastic Comb Jelly.

Book your tickets to SeaQuest     today, and get to know the magnificent Iguana today! Buy your SeaQuest Tickets here!

Learn more about SeaQuest in    , our animals, and VIP specials when you sign up here.