About newportaquarium

Newport Aquarium was established in 1999. It is home to more than 10,000 aquatic animals representing some 600 species housed in tanks totally a million gallons in capacity. www.newportaquarium.com

World-Famous Mermaids to Splash into Newport Aquarium

Special, Limited-Engagement begins Oct. 10 – for 10 days only

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NEWPORT, Ky. – For the first time in Greater Cincinnati, the world-famous Weeki Wachee Mermaids will entertain Newport Aquarium guests Oct. 10-19.

Free with Newport Aquarium admission, guests will be able to view a real-life mermaid, clad in a colorful fish-tailed costume, swimming underwater from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. each day. The mermaids will dive in the aquarium’s 60,000-gallon Coral Reef exhibit that features nearly 200 aquatic animals and more than 50 species of fish.

Guests will also be able to personally meet and talk with a mermaid, as well as have their pictures taken in the aquarium’s Shark Ray Bay Theater from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 4 p.m. each day.

(Via Weeki Wachee Springs State Park: Weeki Wachee Mermaids performing to “Mermaid” by Train. Published May 9, 2012. Note: The mermaids are not scheduled to perform choreographed routines at Newport Aquarium.)

“Kids have been entertained by watching mermaids on television and movies their entire lives,” said Chad Showalter, senior marketing manager at Newport Aquarium. “Now they’ll have the opportunity to have an up-close encounter with a real-life mermaid. It’ll be an experience they’ll never forget.”

Additional mermaid encounters at Newport Aquarium will be available throughout the 10-day engagement, including a mermaid-themed Overnight Adventure and Breakfast with a Mermaid. Tickets are limited and details on how to purchase tickets are available on the Newport Aquarium website, NewportAquarium.com.

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The mermaids are travelling from Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, a freshwater spring north of Tampa, Fla., home of underwater mermaid appearances and performances since 1947.

Click here for more information on Weeki Wachee Mermaids at Newport Aquarium, or call toll free 800-406-FISH (3474).

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Newport Aquarium, the No. 1 aquarium in the country according to USA Today’s 10Best.com, has showcased thousands of animals from around the world in a million gallons of water since 1999. Named a top U.S. aquarium by US City Traveler in 2014 and by Travel Channel in 2013, Newport Aquarium is a Herschend Family Entertainment company and an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Newport Aquarium is open to the public 365 days a year and is located across the Ohio River from downtown Cincinnati at Newport on the Levee.

Find us on: Facebook.com/NewportAquarium | Twitter: @NewportAquarium

One Aquarium Way | Newport, KY 41071 | 859-261-7444
www.newportaquarium.com

Newport Aquarium Celebrates Shark Week by Unveiling 35-Foot Sand Tiger Shark on #SharkWall Mural

NEWPORT, Ky. — In celebration of Shark Week, Newport Aquarium unveiled on Aug. 14 the 35-foot-long sand tiger shark to highlight the newly completed #SharkWall mural.

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A 40’x50’ tarp covering the sand tiger shark dropped following a short countdown by Newport Aquarium employees, officially unveiling the completion of the #SharkWall to the tri-state area.

Animal Ambassador Ric Urban with Paula the penguin (The Enquirer/Patrick Reddy)

Ric Urban with Paula the penguin (The Enquirer/Patrick Reddy)

The unveil included photo opportunities of Paula the African black-foot penguin; Tilly the loggerhead sea turtle; and Gary the American alligator posing in front of the mural next to their likenesses.

Biologist Jen Hazeres with Tilly the turtle.

Biologist Jen Hazeres with Tilly the turtle.

ArtWorks Cincinnati produced the #SharkWall mural for Newport Aquarium as part of the aquarium’s 15-year anniversary.

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A rendering of Mighty Mike, the 800-pound, 14-foot-long American alligator that resides at Newport Aquarium’s Gator Alley exhibit, is located near the center of the #SharkWall.

Completion of the mural, which occurred on Aug. 8, came to fruition thanks to the hard work of ArtWorks and its group of more than 15 dedicated artists, 12 of which were young artist apprentices from various neighborhoods throughout Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.

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The lead designer of the mural was Roz Tallmadge, a Cincinnati native and Walnut Hills High School alum. She named the design of the mural “Shining Seas”.

Celebrating Shark Week: Atlantic Ocean Sharks at Newport Aquarium

By Derek White, Newport Aquarium PR Aide

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Sand Tiger Shark

Sand tigers, sandbars and nurse sharks, which frequent the eastern and southeastern coast of the United States, are some of the most recognized sharks at Newport Aquarium. These sharks have drastically different characteristics that make them so well known. Contrary to popular public opinion, these sharks are quite docile and would only attack humans when provoked.

nurse shark

Best known for their curled and hinged mouths, nurse sharks can often be seen on the warm waters of the seabed where they use their strong jaws to crush and eat shellfish and even coral. They prefer to feast on fish, shrimp and squid that frequent that given body of water.

Sandbar shark

Sandbar shark

The sandbar shark is the best identified for its high first dorsal fin and inter dorsal ridge. Like the nurse shark, sandbar sharks rarely make an appearance above water. They frequent harbors, bays and the mouths of rivers, preferring naturally protected salt waters with smooth sandy bottoms where it feeds on bottom dwelling fish.

Sand tiger sharks are identified by their long jagged teeth that protrude from their open or closed mouths; giving them the reputation as ferocious killers. Despite their looks, they are docile, non-aggressive and normally only attack humans when provoked. Their food preference is small fish, squid and crustaceans. They are the only sharks known to come to the surface for air. They store the air in their stomachs, which allows them to float motionlessly in the water to seek prey while staying close to the bottom of the body of water.

Newport Aquarium Gears Up for Shark Week

Shark dive shows, shark feedings, shark touching and shark overnights offered to guests

 

NEWPORT, Ky. – With more than 55 sharks on exhibit, Newport Aquarium is the place to visit in Greater Cincinnati during Discovery Channel’s Shark Week.

To celebrate Shark Week, Newport Aquarium is offering a $5 discount* on all general admission tickets for visits from Aug. 10-17. This Shark Week discount is available for purchase only through NewportAquarium.com.

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A variety of shark-related activities highlights the Shark Week schedule at Newport Aquarium, where there is always more new to see and do:

  • Surrounded by Sharks – At Newport Aquarium’s signature exhibit, guests can walk through a 385,000-gallon tank filled with four rare and exotic shark rays, sand tiger sharks, whitetip sharks, zebra sharks, as well as a sandbar, a blacktip and a nurse shark.
  • Shark Tank Dive Shows – Guests catch their first and largest views of shark rays and sharks at the Shark Ray Bay Theater, where our shark dive shows feature a scuba diver addressing and taking questions from the audience about the biology and conservation of sharks and other animals found inside the tank. (Aug. 10-17 at Noon; 12:20 p.m.; 12:40 p.m.; 2 p.m.; 2:20 p.m.; and 2:40 p.m.)
  • Shark Feedings – Newport Aquarium performs public feedings for its sharks and shark rays, where guests can watch biologists feed from either the Shark Ray Bay Theater, the Surrounded by Sharks tunnels, or through a biologist’s point-of-view from the Shark Top viewing area. (Shark feeding 11 a.m. Aug. 12; Shark ray feedings 1:15 p.m. Aug. 11-15)
  • Shark Touch Pool – At the Shark Central exhibit, guests have the opportunity to touch dozens of sharks. An Animal Experience Specialist teaches guests the proper two-finger touch technique and helps them understand each species in this international collection.
  • Sharks After Dark Overnight – Guests can sink their teeth into some great shark facts and sleep safely as they swim above. Every overnight includes exclusive aquarium access, animal-themed games and activities. (Thursday, Aug. 7 at 7:30 p.m. sold out; Friday, Aug. 8 at 7:30 p.m. sold out)

For more information on Newport Aquarium, visit NewportAquarium.com or call toll free 800-406-FISH (3474).

*This special offer cannot be combined with other discounts or coupons.

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Newport Aquarium, the No. 1 aquarium in the country according to USA Today’s 10Best.com, has showcased thousands of animals from around the world in a million gallons of water since 1999. Named a top U.S. aquarium by US City Traveler in 2014 and by Travel Channel in 2013, Newport Aquarium is a Herschend Family Entertainment company and an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Newport Aquarium is open to the public 365 days a year and is located across the Ohio River from downtown Cincinnati at Newport on the Levee.

Find us on: Facebook.com/NewportAquarium | Twitter: @NewportAquarium

One Aquarium Way | Newport, KY 41071 | 859-261-7444
www.newportaquarium.com

National Zoo Keeper Week Spotlight: Area Supervisor Dan Hagley

National Zoo Keeper Week is celebrated during the third week of July each year. As the need to protect and preserve our wildlife and vanishing habitats increases, zoo keeper’s roles as educators and wildlife ambassadors become more essential. Throughout this week, Newport Aquarium will highlight members of our dedicated animal husbandry staff.

Area Supervisor Dan Hagley (center left) oversees multiple exhibits at Newport Aquarium.

Area Supervisor Dan Hagley (center left) oversees multiple exhibits at Newport Aquarium.

Name: Dan Hagley

Title: Area Supervisor

Exhibit(s) in which you work: World Rivers Gallery 9 exhibits, Paddle fish exhibit, Living coral exhibit, Piranha exhibit, and the coral propagation system.

Month and Year in which you began working at NAq? August 2003

What has been the most rewarding experience while working at NAq? Watching guests walk though in amazement as they look at the exhibits.

What’s your favorite part of your job? Every time I have the opportunity to re-do an exhibit and create something.

How and when did you decide to get into the zookeeper field? I always knew I wanted to work with animals specifically with fish and in college after Freshman year I decided.

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About the American Association of Zoo Keepers
The mission of The American Association of Zoo Keepers is to advance excellence in the animal keeping profession, foster effective communication beneficial to animal care, support deserving conservation projects, and promote the preservation of our natural resources and animal life.

National Zoo Keeper Week Spotlight: Animal Ambassador Ric Urban

National Zoo Keeper Week is celebrated during the third week of July each year. As the need to protect and preserve our wildlife and vanishing habitats increases, zoo keeper’s roles as educators and wildlife ambassadors become more essential. Throughout this week, Newport Aquarium will highlight members of our dedicated animal husbandry staff.

Ric Urban behind the scenes of the Gator Alley exhibit with Mighty Mike.

Ric Urban behind the scenes of the Gator Alley exhibit with Mighty Mike.

Name: Ric Urban

Title: Newport Aquarium Animal Ambassador and Manager of Animal Acquisitions/Dispositions, Exhibit Design & Development and Compliance

Month and Year in which you began working at NAq? February 2004.

What is your favorite animal at Newport Aquarium? African Penguins.

What has been your most rewarding experience while working at NAq? Introducing “Paula the Penguin’ to a 95-year-old grandmother. She had tears in her eyes after touching the penguin, saying that was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen. As an Ambassador for Newport Aquarium, I have had many rewarding experiences connecting people with wildlife.

What’s your favorite part of your job? Designing exhibits and bringing animals to the Newport Aquarium that “wow” the guests.

How and when did you decide to get into the zookeeper field? 1981, when I joined the Sunset Zoo as a volunteer educator. After that I was hooked and the rest is history.

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About the American Association of Zoo Keepers
The mission of The American Association of Zoo Keepers is to advance excellence in the animal keeping profession, foster effective communication beneficial to animal care, support deserving conservation projects, and promote the preservation of our natural resources and animal life.

They grow up so fast: King penguin chicks nearing the same height as their parents

By Derek White, Newport Aquarium PR Aide

King penguin chick

NEWPORT, Ky. – From their hatchings to now, it’s hard to believe how much Newport Aquarium’s king penguin chicks, Mario and Luigi, have grown in just eight weeks and five days.

If you can spot them on any given day in the Kroger Penguin Palooza exhibit, you will notice they are nearly as tall as the adult king penguins.

You will also notice the chicks are covered in a dark brown colored fur with no signs of the species’ trademark tuxedo.

The adolescent king penguins normally suits such colors in their younger age before growing to full adult status.

If this is confusing, don’t worry because you’re not alone. In fact when king penguins we’re first discovered in the wild, explorers were confused as well and even believed them to be a different species, donning them the name, “wooly penguin.”

King penguin chick 2

Of course, upon further observation and as the penguins aged, the fur diminished and the familiar tuxedo began to appear just as they will here soon at Newport Aquarium. The quick growth is in part to how much they’re being fed, which is normal for their age.

The parents are still feeding the chicks by beak and are making sure they’re staying well fed. As of right now the king penguin chicks are just about the size of a full adult and weight approximately eight pounds each. Stay tuned as we continue to keep you updated on our newest additions to our penguin family here at Newport Aquarium.

National Zoo Keeper Week Spotlight: Husbandry Aide Becky Echtenkamp

National Zoo Keeper Week is celebrated during the third week of July each year. As the need to protect and preserve our wildlife and vanishing habitats increases, zoo keeper’s roles as educators and wildlife ambassadors become more essential. Throughout this week, Newport Aquarium will highlight members of our dedicated animal husbandry staff.

Husbandry Aide Becky Echtenkamp works with multiple animals through several exhibits at Newport Aquarium.

Husbandry Aide Becky Echtenkamp works with multiple animals through several exhibits at Newport Aquarium.

Name: Becky Echtenkamp

Title: Husbandry Aide

Exhibit(s) in which you work: Half of Frog Bog, Live Foods and coverage on all “Rainforest” exhibits (i.e. Turtle Canyon, Croc Town, Cold Penguin, Warm Penguin, etc.).

Month and Year in which you began working at NAq: May 2012.

What is your favorite animal at Newport Aquarium? Simon the African Penguin.

What has been the most rewarding experience while working at NAq? Being exposed to new things/animals/techniques.

What’s your favorite part of your job? The people and their positive outlooks.

How and when did you decide to get into the zookeeper field? I have wanted to work with animals since I was very little (less than 5) and I went to school specifically to do this.

Zookeeper WEEK.Logo 2006 V

About the American Association of Zoo Keepers
The mission of The American Association of Zoo Keepers is to advance excellence in the animal keeping profession, foster effective communication beneficial to animal care, support deserving conservation projects, and promote the preservation of our natural resources and animal life.

National Zoo Keeper Week Spotlight: Water Quality Specialist Cameo VonStrohe

National Zoo Keeper Week is celebrated during the third week of July each year. As the need to protect and preserve our wildlife and vanishing habitats increases, zoo keeper’s roles as educators and wildlife ambassadors become more essential. Throughout this week, Newport Aquarium will highlight members of our dedicated animal husbandry staff.

Water Quality Specialist Cameo VonStrohe is responsible for replicating the water of the animals at Newport Aquarium's natural environment.

Water Quality Specialist Cameo VonStrohe is responsible for replicating the water of the animals at Newport Aquarium’s natural environment.

Name: Cameo VonStrohe

Title: Water Quality Specialist

Exhibit(s) in which you work: No exhibits, just the dihydrogen monoxide!

Month and Year in which you began working at NAq? May 2001.

What is your favorite animal at Newport Aquarium? Cownose rays & garden eels!

What has been the most rewarding experience while working at NAq? Playing “Mother Nature” with the water to keep the water as close to the animals’ natural environment as possible.

What’s your favorite part of your job? Atomic absorption spectrophotometer and superb co-workers.

How and when did you decide to get into the zookeeper field? A visit to an aquarium while vacationing in Virginia Beach during high school.

Zookeeper WEEK.Logo 2006 V

About the American Association of Zoo Keepers
The mission of The American Association of Zoo Keepers is to advance excellence in the animal keeping profession, foster effective communication beneficial to animal care, support deserving conservation projects, and promote the preservation of our natural resources and animal life.

National Zoo Keeper Week Spotlight: Senior Aquatic Biologist Crystal Phillips

National Zoo Keeper Week is celebrated during the third week of July each year. As the need to protect and preserve our wildlife and vanishing habitats increases, zoo keeper’s roles as educators and wildlife ambassadors become more essential. Throughout this week, Newport Aquarium will highlight members of our dedicated animal husbandry staff.

Before Newport Aquarium opened in May 1999, Sr. Biologist Crystal Phillips traveled to Adventure World near Shirahama, Japan to bring king penguins to Northern Kentucky.

Before Newport Aquarium opened in May 1999, Sr. Biologist Crystal Phillips traveled to Adventure World near Shirahama, Japan to bring king penguins to Northern Kentucky. (Source: The Cincinnati Enquirer)

Title: Senior Aquatic Biologist

Exhibits/Areas of Responsibility: Parts of Frog Bog; Aquatic/terrestrial quarantine; and records.

Month and Year in which you began working at NAq? November 1998

What is your favorite animal at Newport Aquarium? Penguins

What has been the most rewarding experience while working at NAq? Being given the opportunity to work with such a diverse collection of species.

What’s your favorite part of your job? Seeing the animals thrive, and the guests who enjoy connecting with the animals. Also sharing with guests information about the animals and why they are important.

How and when did you decide to get into the zookeeper field? Quite young – elementary school – at least for biology. It was narrowed down to zookeeping in college.

Zookeeper WEEK.Logo 2006 V

About the American Association of Zoo Keepers
The mission of The American Association of Zoo Keepers is to advance excellence in the animal keeping profession, foster effective communication beneficial to animal care, support deserving conservation projects, and promote the preservation of our natural resources and animal life.