National Aquarium In Baltimore Grants Access To Exam Rooms

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National Aquarium in Baltimore exam room
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Mary Bubala joined WJZ in December 2003. She now anchors the 4-4:30...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Rare aquarium access. For the first time ever, the National Aquarium in Baltimore is throwing open the doors for a tour of its exam rooms, where vets care for more than 17,000 animals.

Mary Bubala reports it’s also a first in the nation.

At the National Aquarium in Baltimore, people come to see animals up close. But you can get even closer.

Getting access to an exam room is part of a new veterinarian experience.

Visitors get a hands-on tour with one of the vets and many of the aquarium’s animals and reptiles, including Gus, a cane toad.

Dr. Colin McDermott demonstrates how they check his heartbeat during a live exam.

“This tour is perfect for anyone who has an interest in veterinarian medicine and an aquarium and wants to see behind-the-scenes, any adults who have any interest in it and especially any children who have an interest in it or wants to be a veterinarian when they grow up,” McDermott said.

Eight-year-old Grace Calandra wants to be a marine veterinarian when she grows up and is taking the tour with her family.

“I really like fish,” she said.

“She’s been totally impressed with how there are so many different species in the exhibits, but she wants to see how they are taken care of, the feeding and the upkeep of everything,” said Christine Calandra, mom.

Part of the tour is a close encounter with the aquarium’s animal rescue program, including learning how the vets nurse stranded sea turtles back to health.

“We learn about them, we go through a case with one, talk a little bit about what we do to keep them healthy and get them back into the ocean where they should be,” McDermott said.

Tours are offered most Fridays and Saturdays at 4 p.m.

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