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

JOURNEY OF SURVIVAL: Tilly set to return to Atlantic Ocean


(Videos of Tilly during her stay at Newport Aquarium the past year. Notice how much she grew in each video!)

NEWPORT, Ky. — Tilly, Newport Aquarium‘s 1-year-old loggerhead sea turtle, is set to be released into the Atlantic Ocean on Wednesday.

Her return to the coastal shores of North Carolina is part of Newport Aquarium’s participation in the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission’s Sea Turtle Project.

Tilly_2014-10-28

Tilly weighs nearly 10 pounds as of Oct. 28, 2014.

As part of the Sea Turtle Project, newly hatched turtles that do not immediately venture to water, and therefore are most vulnerable to not survive, are rescued and nurtured for typically one year until they are healthy and strong enough to be released into the wild.

This program is crucial for the survival of sea turtles, which are federally protected and on the endangered species list. It’s estimated that only one in 1,000 sea turtles survive to adulthood.

Tilly was hatched at the beginning of August in Emerald Isle, N.C., and was no larger than the size of a 50-cent piece when she was given to Newport Aquarium staff.

A closeup of Newport Aquarium's new baby loggerhead from Dec. 17, 2013.

A closeup of Tilly from Dec. 17, 2013.

Tilly arrived at Newport Aquarium in October 2013. During her initial veterinarian visit at a North Carolina animal facility on Aug. 8, 2013, she was weighed at 54 grams, which is less than the weight of 11 nickels.

Her most recent recorded weight was over 4.5 kilograms (almost 10 pounds), which puts above the threshold to be satellite tagged.

The baby loggerhead checked in at 487 grams on Jan. 6, 2014.

The baby loggerhead checked in at 487 grams on Jan. 6, 2014.

A satellite tag will be placed on her shell on Tuesday, Nov. 4, which will allow people to track her whereabouts online. She will be the second turtle that Newport Aquarium has satellite tagged in its 15-year history. The last was Fisher in 2003.

The WAVE Foundation, Newport Aquarium’s nonprofit partner, financed Tilly’s tagging as part of its conservation and education initiatives.

After Tilly is released, Newport Aquarium staffers will return to Northern Kentucky with a new hatchling turtle next week and begin the adoption process all over.

We will be sure to share the link to follow Tilly once it becomes available.

Newport Aquarium offers free admission to U.S. Military Nov. 8-11

Veterans Weekend sponsored by Humana includes military family discounts, free Veterans Breakfast

VeteransWeekend_890x380

NEWPORT, Ky.Newport Aquarium announced Wednesday a full slate of festivities for Veterans Weekend sponsored by Humana, highlighted by a free admission offer to all veteran and active members of the United States Armed Forces from Nov. 8-11.

During Veterans Weekend sponsored by Humana, all U.S. military personnel – including active, retired and reservists – can receive free admission simply by presenting their military identification at the Newport Aquarium ticket window.

“Newport Aquarium is extremely grateful for the sacrifices the brave men and women of the U.S. military have made to serve our country,” said Eric Rose, Newport Aquarium vice president and executive director. “Offering free admission to these heroes is a reflection of our gratitude and a way for us to thank them for their service.”

Additionally, when a military serviceperson presents their military identification at the ticket window, up to four of their family members can take advantage of Newport Aquarium’s everyday military discount of $3 off adult tickets and $2 off children’s tickets.

As an additional display of gratitude for their sacrifices, all military members who visit the aquarium during Veterans Weekend sponsored by Humana will receive a special patriotic pin, courtesy of Newport Aquarium and Humana.

Newport Aquarium to Offer Free Breakfast to Veterans
As part of Veterans Weekend sponsored by Humana, Newport Aquarium is hosting a Veterans Breakfast on Sunday, Nov. 9, at 8:30 a.m. in the Riverside Room. Veterans can receive free admission to the breakfast with the purchase of an additional full-priced adult Veterans Breakfast ticket. Admission to the breakfast includes an alligator encounter and early entry to the aquarium. Space is limited for this event and registration is required. Reservations can be made by calling 859-815-1471.

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

Ride the Ducks Veterans Weekend Discount
Veterans and military personnel can receive half-priced admission on Ride the Ducks tours Nov. 6-9 when they show their military identification at the time of purchase. Additional family members can receive a discount of $2 off adult tickets on up to four additional tickets. Visit NewportDucks.com or call 859-815-1439 for details.

###

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

World-Famous Mermaids to Splash into Newport Aquarium

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

Mermaids942_379

NEWPORT, Ky. – For the first time in the Midwest, 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.

Karri Feb28-13 005 - Copy

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).

###

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.

DSC_3058

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.

DSC_3063

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.

DSC_3069

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

NAQshark

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.

NAQshark

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.

###

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.

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: 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.

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.

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.