Vancouver Aquarium Voted Top 10 in the World

Photo credit: Joe Robertson | Flickr

Photo credit: Joe Robertson | Flickr

You always knew there was something special about all those jellyfish, otters, wolf eels and Arctic char.  Now the world knows, too.

Vancouver Aquarium has been voted one of the ten best in the world by readers of USA Today.  The aquarium nabbed the seventh spot overall in the newspaper’s 10Best survey, just behind Monterey Bay Aquarium in California and ahead of Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut.

The survey notes that the aquarium has just completed the biggest expansion in its history, nearly doubling its gallery space.  It now houses some 50,000 animals, with special new exhibits highlighting Red Sea coral reefs and Africa’s Lake Malawi.

Currently, the aquarium receives more than 1 million visitors every year.  

Photo credit: Jessica | Flickr

Photo credit: Jessica | Flickr

Major exhibits include displays on Canada’s Arctic (including the famous belugas), the tropics, the B.C. coast, penguins and even frogs, as well as an outdoor area for rescued otters, dolphins and porpoises.

But the aquarium has earned a reputation that goes far beyond showcasing aquatic life.  Its Marine Mammal Rescue Centre is a major facility for rehabilitating injured wildlife, rescuing more than 100 animals every year.  Pioneering research programs have led to major scientific breakthroughs – in fact, the aquarium was the first in the world to breed Canada’s most endangered amphibian, the Oregon Spotted Frog.  And conservation efforts have led to initiatives like OceanWise, the nationwide program that certifies sustainably harvested seafood.

Photo credit: Rikki | Flickr

Photo credit: Rikki | Flickr

The Vancouver Aquarium was the only aquarium outside of the U.S. to make the 10Best list.  The top spot in the survey went to the massive Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, which boasts a single 6.3-million-gallon tank the size of a football field.  Inside, there are four whale sharks and four manta rays.

Photo credit: Hubert Figuière | Flickr

Photo credit: Hubert Figuière | Flickr

In addition to its USA Today honours, the Vancouver Aquarium was also voted one of the top 25 aquariums in the world in TripAdvisor’s 2014 Travelers’ Choice Awards, which are based on reviews by millions of users.  The aquarium earned the eighth spot, just behind the Dallas World Aquarium in Texas and Mundomar in Spain.

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