19 February 2013

Top Billing goes diving with seals

Did you catch the recent episode of Top Billing, where presenter Jonathan Boynton-Lee went diving with Cape fur seals? If not, check it out here:

During the piece, Jonathan meets Steve Benjamin, a scientific diver with degree in zoology.

Russell Stevens, the Head of Education at the Two Oceans Aquarium Environmental Education Centre, taught Steve Benjamin in Grade 6 at Bergvliet Primary School in 1995. The students did a class project on fish, in which Steve achieved over 80%. The top five students of that project then applied through Russell to become Aquarium volunteers on Saturday mornings. This was before the official volunteer programme started and before the Aquarium itself had even opened.

Russell had negotiated with Tony McEwan (then Operations Manager and now Director of uShaka Seaworld in Durban) for the youngsters to help out with the temporary holding tanks at Granger Bay. So in a way, Steve was one of our very first Young Biologists – but long before the YB Programme was a reality.

Steve now runs his own company, Animal Ocean.

Also seen in the insert is Roger Horrocks. Roger is also a friend of the Aquarium – he has shot here many times and some of his images featured in the recent article Shoal searching, by Tiara Walters in the December 2012 issue of Getaway magazine.

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