11 Dec 2012 19:19:14
Dugong Christmas Treat
Our famous resident dugongs Pig and Wuru today got into the Christmas spirit with a special holiday treat provided by our loving aquarists, who presented them with a Christmas tree made entirely of their favourite food - lettuce leaves.
Pig and Wuru are two of only six dugongs on display anywhere in the world. The cos lettuce leaves replicate the sole food dugongs consume in their natural environment - seagrass; and between the two of them, they consume up to 1,500kg of iceberg lettuce leaves a week - totalling up to $140,400 worth of lettuce a year.
Weighing in at around 3kg, the tree was constructed by a variety of sizes of cos lettuce leaves and involved two SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium team members threading lettuce for over four hours. To top it off, the impressive edible sculpture was adorned with festive baubles made of apples.
Under the close supervision and care of our Dugong Keeper, both Pig and Wuru have been transitioning smoothly back into their new home, Dugong Island - one of 14 new themed zones - which was refurbished as part the relaunch of SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium this September.
Listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), both Pig and Wuru were orphaned in the wild in QLD, arrived in 2008 and took up residence in a purpose-built exhibit. SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium actively contributes to dugong research and supports the University of Queensland with their annual assessment of the health of wild dugong populations.
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