Mystic Aquarium Trainer for a Day participants to get close to penguins, sea lions, belugas

Mystic - For $375, or $350 if you're an aquarium member, you can spend a day helping train and care for beluga whales, California sea lions and African penguins.

Expanding on its programs that allow visitors to interact with animals in its collection, Mystic Aquarium is offering a seven-hour Trainer for a Day program in which participants can find out what it's like to be a marine animal trainer.

Among the activities is helping prepare a morning meal of fish for African penguins, sitting side-by-side with a beluga trainer in the Arctic Coast habitat for a hands-on feeding and training session and participating in a live show and private training demonstration with California sea lions.

A catered, white tablecloth luncheon with a special guest is included as is an 8-by-10 matted photo.

The program is limited to two participants, ages 13 and older, and takes place Mondays and Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Reservations can be made at www.mysticaquarium.org. For more information, call (860) 572-5955 ext. 520.

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