Funen: Getting up close and personal with Nordic wildlife
By Josefine Older Steffensen | Photos: Naturama and Fjord&Bælt
The island of Funen, in Denmark, boasts two attractions based on the diverse local fauna. Fjord&Bælt, situated on the waterfront in Kerteminde, is home to live porpoises, harbour seals and many other sea mammals, while the Naturama museum, in Svendborg, divides up Nordic wildlife into three categories; below sea level, on land and in the skies.
The porpoise is the only whale to breed in Danish waters, and Fjord&Bælt is one of only two attractions in the world to feature live porpoises in a safe, enclosed environment. Fjord&Bælt aims to preserve and protect the porpoise in its natural habitat, and marine scientists, families and school parties from all over Denmark and the wider world use and visit the research centre to learn more about the many facets of aquatic life.
“Fjord&Bælt’s research is mainly focused on seals and porpoises, but we also show what the sea truly has to offer. Our porpoises and seals are actually in their natural environment, swimming within the harbour itself,” explains Mette Thybo, managing director of both Fjord&Bælt and Naturama.
“Children especially love the way we present the smaller water creatures – which live in the interactive pools, where the kids can playfully touch some of them – and to experience the wonderful view that can be seen in the underwater tunnel, where they get to feel part of the sea itself,” Thybo says. “We also want to inspire people to explore nature in general and see the amazing variety of animals which exist right outside their front doors.”
“When you stand next to the giant moose in Naturama, it’s so realistic that you can almost feel its breath on you. It’s rather fantastic!” Thybo exclaims. “Naturama gives a comprehensive overview of what can be found in Northern Europe’s wilderness.”
Naturama currently has two special exhibitions. One is professional photographer Levon Biss’s amazingly detailed images of insects, enlarged by up to 1,000 times, and the other is a presentation of couture dresses, inspired by Nordic animals and created by the famous Danish fashion designer, Jim Lyngvild. Naturama also houses a sophisticated soundscape room in which visitors are immersed in the unique sounds of a rainforest.
In the autumn, both museums will focus on the huge negative impact of plastic waste on our planet, with special exhibitions on the subject.
Fjord&Bælt and Naturama, with their carefully recreated natural environments, provide a fun, exciting and educational day out for the whole family, giving everyone the opportunity to feel connected to Nordic wildlife.
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