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Inflatable whales blow away visitors during San Pedro aquarium’s LA Family Night

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It made for a whale of a night on Saturday, April 2, when four life-sized inflatable cetaceans were unveiled at the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium in San Pedro.

The blowout occasion was the aquarium’s L.A. Family Night, when four life-sized inflatable whales were debuted to an audience that included transported families from each of the 15 Los Angeles City Council districts, in partnership with the Los Angeles Unified School District.

The life-sized specimens included a 100-foot blue whale, a 43-foot humpback whale, a 56-foot gray whale and a 16-foot gray whale calf.

As an added attraction, the humpback and gray whales have a walk-through feature so folks can view the creatures’ enormous hearts, lungs, ribs and stomachs. The whales accommodate wheelchairs as well, making the experience accessible to all.

The sight can be eye-opening.

“When you see whales in the wild, you normally only see a tiny part of them since most of their bodies are submerged,” said Councilman Joe Buscaino, whose office funded the project with help from the Port of Los Angeles. “This really gives you a new perspective.”

Other festivities Saturday included a grunion run on the beach, with families chasing after thousands of silvery fish that annually come ashore in a mating ritual. Visitors took part in hatching grunion eggs, touring the aquarium, making arts and crafts, and watching a movie about grunion.

Children left the aquarium with copies of a free ocean-themed book provided by the Valero Wilmington Refinery.

And the inflatable whales?

They’ll turn up next on May 21 when the aquarium celebrates International Endangered Species Day.

For information on upcoming whale appearances or other activities, go to cabrillomarineaquarium.org.

The aquarium, 3720 Stephen M. White Drive, was founded in 1935 and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. It is operated as a facility of the city of Los Angeles’ Department of Recreation and Parks.

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Source: Orange County Register

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