*****The follow is an introductory post from one of Wild Lens’ newest team members, Anna Walton (AKA Animated Anna) who will be hosting a new live series on our Eyes on Conservation platform focused on current events in conservation.  We’ll be launching “Animated Anna on EOC LIVE” next Thursday at 7pm MST – tune into our Eyes on Conservation facebook page to check it out!*****


Introducing… Animated Anna on EOC LIVE!

As I stood peering into the dark, salt saturated tank, a twelve foot Sand Tiger shark lazily circled below. Squeezed into a dry suit like toothpaste forced back into a bottle and a tank of mixed gases strapped to my back, I began to reflect on how I found myself in this unique situation.

I’m not an adrenaline junky, and I certainly don’t describe myself as brave. I’m not terribly sports orientated either. In fact, I’m a runner because I’m just coordinated enough I can put one foot in front of the other quickly. Yet, here I was counting the various sharks swarming beneath and feeling my heart start it’s trek into my throat.

Did it start the first time I saw a snake and my peers stumbled back in fear, but I crept closer in awe? Perhaps it was pretty obvious when my family visited Florida and I occupied my time with trying to spot alligators. Maybe it was that childhood trip to the Cleveland Zoo when I pressed my palm to the orangutan’s glass enclosure and she too placed her palm in line with my own.

Whatever the cause; if it slithered, squawked, clawed, stomped, or splashed, I was in love with it. As with many things in life, I had learned love was simply not enough. In the case of animals, I felt a call to action was imperative whether one was a Marine Biologist or an occasional free Zoo Day patron.

It was that same call to action that had me plunging into this aquatic paradise. While my descent was hardly graceful, I quickly found myself enthralled in this tank of flawlessly evolved creatures. Nurse sharks rested to my left like a pride of lazy lions. Overhead, a Black Tip Shark zigged and zagged. Further into the darkness of the tank, the Sand Tiger shark smiled with her protruding, pearly whites.

The intent of the Shark Dives at Point Defiance Aquarium is to inspire patrons to understand the important roles that sharks play. During the dive, a Marine Biologist narrates the diver’s interaction with the sharks and provides an educational discussion on these brilliant predators. It is the hope of Point Defiance to see people leaving with a better appreciation and understanding of sharks.

This is the same hope of Animated Anna Talks Conservation with Eyes on Conservation. Our desire is to turn people’s attention to the triumphs and trials of Conservation efforts around the world. To remind each of us of our connection to our animal counterparts and their equally important roles. That perhaps, even if only in the smallest of ways, we can all assist in maintaining the incredible biodiversity our planet has to offer.

We look forward to you diving in and joining our discussions!

Until the next splash,

Animated Anna



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