Yesterday, my wife and I took two of our grandsons to the Downtown Denver Aquarium. Initially founded as Colorado's Ocean Journey in 1999, the facility is now owned and operated by Landry's Restaurants, Inc.
The well-organized aquarium is composed of an excellent variety of exhibits that house a wide diversity of freshwater and marine life; our grandsons were especially impressed with the giant shark tank and the chance to view those predators at close range. Unfortunately, in an effort to round-out their Asian ecosystem, the Aquarium also houses Bengal tigers in a "naturalized" indoor cage of rocky terrain, waterfalls and pools. A big hit with visitors and pictured on most of their brochures, the imprisoned tigers (I only saw one) ruined the experience for me and, I suspect, for any naturalist who might visit the Aquarium.
While this facility, like most zoos and aquariums, takes pride in educating the public and promoting conservation, the willingness to treat tigers like indoor house cats makes one question their sincerity. The "attractive" tiger exhibit may be pleasing to the eye for human visitors but it is nothing more than an indoor prison for those large, beautiful carnivores. I, for one, will not be returning to the Downtown Denver Aquarium, just as I shun those that house captive cetaceans.