About NewportAquarium

Newport Aquarium has showcased thousands of animals from around the world in a million gallons of water since May 15, 1999. Named one of the best aquariums in the U.S. by Travel Channel and USA Today, Newport Aquarium is a Herschend Family Entertainment company and an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky jewel attraction is home to: The world’s first and only Shark Bridge; the world’s first Shark Ray Breeding Program; Mighty Mike – the biggest and baddest American alligator outside the state of Florida; the largest and most diverse collection of sharks in the Midwest; and one of the world’s largest and most diverse penguin exhibits. 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.

Happy Penguin Awareness Day

Today we celebrate our adorable tuxedo-clad birds. Penguins get their special day every year on Penguin Awareness Day, on January 20 – not to be confused with World Penguin Day or African Penguin Awareness Day. There are six species of penguins here at Newport Aquarium. You might be surprised to hear that not all penguins love the snow and cold. In fact, about two-thirds of penguins are warm-weather birds. Newport Aquarium is home to five species of cold-weather penguins which live in Penguin Palooza. Kings, Gentoo, Macaroni, Southern Rockhopper and Chinstrap all love the snow. Guests can see these penguins swimming in Penguin Palooza and can get up close to watch their swift underwater movements as they glide right past the viewing window.penguin

Guests can watch penguins swimming underwater in Penguin Palooza. 

 

Another highlight of a visit to Newport Aquarium is the Penguin Sunrise. Take a seat and learn all about our cold weather penguin habitat housing several different penguin species.

Our warm-weather penguins, the African penguins are ambassadors for their species. African penguins are an endangered species. There has been a steady decline of the African penguins since the late 1950s when there were around 300,000 individuals in South Africa. In 2001, there were over 100,000 individuals and recently it has been estimated that there are less than 50,000 penguins left in their range country. Here at Newport Aquarium, guests have the opportunity to meet this species behind the scenes.IMG_6049

Many of our African penguins were hand-raised as chicks. Guests are invited to purchase a one-of-a-kind experience with these amazing birds through a Penguin Encounter. An Animal Experience Specialist shares an important conservation message about these birds in the Penguin House. Guests sit on a bench, and the penguins can waddle right up to you. You’re allowed to take pictures, and may even get to touch one.

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A portion of the sales for Penguin Encounters is donated to the WAVE Foundation for penguin conservation programs. Another one-of-a-kind opportunity is to purchase original penguin artwork from our in-house Picassos – our African penguins create masterpieces that can be ordered online or bought in Newport Aquarium’s gift shop. Speckles, Paula, Red Pepper, Green Bean, Sandy, Randi, Blueberry have all taken part in the penguin pitter platter spatter.   

 

 

 

Each original penguin art comes with a Certificate of Authenticity, an information sheet about the artists and a color photo of the artists in action! Painting is a form of enrichment for our penguins. Enrichment is about providing animals with stimulating and challenging environments, objects and activities. It aims to enhance their activity and provides mental stimulation for the penguins. Who wouldn’t have fun stomping and splattering in paint?

So, the next time you’re visiting Newport Aquarium, be sure to stop by and say ‘hi’ to these incredible birds – one of the most diverse collections of penguins in the country.

Kids Can Get in FREE during Winter Family Days at Newport Aquarium

One FREE child ticket with each full price adult Jan.6 – March 1

NEWPORT, Ky. – Newport Aquarium announces the return of Winter Family Days, where one child (ages 2-12) gets in FREE with each full price adult ticket* from January 6 through March 1. It’s the perfect time to escape the cold winter weather and explore Newport Aquarium where it’s always a tropical 72 degrees. Newport Aquarium is open every day, including holidays, and will operate with extended hours on select days. A full calendar of operating times is available at NewportAquarium.com. 1KidFREE_WFD20_1080

Activities during Winter Family Days include visiting with the new Bayou Babies, two dozen baby American alligators who now call Gator Alley home, alongside Snowball and Snowflake, Newport Aquarium’s rare white alligators. Other popular Winter Family Days weather-proof adventures include:

  • Shark Bridge – More than 3 million thrill-seekers have dared to cross Shark Bridge. Included with admission, Shark Bridge is a 75-foot-long rope bridge suspended just inches above nearly two dozen sharks.Shark Bridge
  • Stingray Hideaway – Enter a tropical getaway to interact with and touch two dozen stingrays in the 17,000-gallon stingray touchpool. Discover stingrays from above and below the water’s surface through a kid-friendly underwater tunnel and pop-up tube where stingrays soar above and all around.Pop up tube
  • Surrounded by Sharks – Venture through more than 80 feet of acrylic underwater tunnels. Guests can walk through three underwater tunnels within the 385,000-gallon Surrounded by Sharks exhibit filled with rare and exotic shark rays, six species of sharks, hundreds of fish and Denver, the mischievous 200-pound loggerhead sea turtle.
  • Seahorses: Unbridled Fun – This interactive exhibit features some of nature’s most amazing creatures, including several species of seahorses, sea dragons, razorfish and pipefish. At the Seahorse Creation Station, guests can discover their inner-artist and create a digital seahorse.
  • Penguin Palooza – With five different sub-Antarctic penguin species totaling nearly 50 birds, Penguin Palooza boasts one of the most diverse collections of cold-weather penguins in the country.
  • Splash and Bubbles Reeftown Adventure – Kids can climb and play their way through Coral Cove and become a Reeftown Ranger as they learn about our One Big Ocean and the animals that call it home. They can color their own fishy friends and bring them to life in the animated world of Splash and Bubbles.Shark Tunnel

Beginning January 6, the offer of one kid free with each full price adult will be available online at NewportAquarium.com, at the Newport Aquarium ticket window or by phone at 800-406-FISH (3474). Advance ticket purchase online is highly recommended to skip the ticket line and reserve your aquarium entry time.

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

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Newport Aquarium, named one of the top 10 U.S. aquariums in 2019 by USA Today’s 10Best.com and one of the top U.S. aquariums 2016 by Leisure Group Travel, 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 and Destinations Travel Magazine, and also by Travel Channel, 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.

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Experience Scuba Santa’s Water Wonderland at Newport Aquarium

NEWPORT, Ky. — Newport Aquarium invites the public to experience one of Cincinnati’s most unique holiday traditions as Scuba Santa visits from November 29 to December 31. The jolly elf will be ready to hear your Christmas wishes while swimming underwater surrounded by sharks, stingrays and a curious sea turtle named Denver.

 

“A lot of our guests are surprised and delighted to learn they actually get to talk with Scuba Santa while he’s swimming underwater,” said Eric Kilpatrick, Newport Aquarium’s Elf Wrangler. “And through a little elf magic, he knows your child’s name by the time their turn comes to step up and share their holiday wishes.”

Guests will find the aquarium decked out in its holiday best as Scuba Santa’s Water Wonderland takes over. They can join the elves in a sing-along to their aquatic version of the 12 Days of Christmas and take in the colorful lights and decorations throughout. While waiting for Scuba Santa, they’ll also catch a flurry of magical bubbles filling the theater every 10 minutes.

“It warms my heart to see the kids playing and popping the bubbles,” said Scuba Santa. “You know, every time a bubble pops, someone’s wish comes true.”

The Bayou Babies will be celebrating their first Christmas.

Newport Aquarium’s two dozen new baby American alligators, affectionately known as The Bayou Babies, are also celebrating their first Christmas, complete with 24 tiny stockings for Scuba Santa to fill. See them explore their new home in Gator Alley right next to the rare white alligators Snowball and Snowflake.

New for 2019: An Evening With Scuba Santa: November 26 from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Newport Aquarium will be open extended hours as Scuba Santa swims in for the very first time this season. Enjoy free milk and cookies all included with General Admission or an Annual Pass. The first 500 Passholders will receive a special gift at the door, plus Passholders can bring their friends at a discounted price.

The Water Wonderland journey will take guests through a number of illuminated and holiday-clad galleries as they interact with the magic of an undersea holiday celebration:

  • Shark Ray Bay Theater – Join Scuba Santa’s elves in song and discover how some of Newport Aquarium’s most iconic animals celebrate holidays under the sea. Guests will have the unique opportunity to meet Scuba Santa as he dives inside the 385,000-gallon Surrounded by Sharks tank, and tell him their holiday wishes.
  • Seahorses: Unbridled Fun – Twinkling sea-creature lights hang from the ceiling over some of nature’s most amazing creatures, including pipefish, seahorses and our baby shark!
  • Stingray Hideaway – Visit the tropical oasis where Scuba Santa’s elves and reindeer have decorated with festive tropical decor. Plus, guests can interact with and touch two dozen stingrays in the 17,000-gallon stingray touchpool.
  • Gator Alley – Honky-tonk holiday lighting, music and decorations welcome guests to Gator Alley, home of Snowball and Snowflake, two of less than 100 rare white alligators in the world. Plus, it’s the new Bayou Babies’ first Christmas.
  • Penguin Palooza – Make a stop at Scuba Santa’s Post Office where you can write your holiday wish on a magic bubble and drop it in Scuba Santa’s mailbox. Plus, five species of cold-weather penguins – a total of nearly 50 birds spread their own brand of squawking, swimming and waddling holiday cheer.

* Scuba Santa will not be appearing on Christmas Day – he will be resting after a busy night traveling to homes all around the world.

Annual Pass Holiday Special: Through December 31, guests who purchase three Newport Aquarium Annual Passes will receive a fourth Annual Pass free. Annual Passes are valid for one year from the date of purchase, so guests can use them now to experience Scuba Santa’s Water Wonderland and into next year, including a VIP Passholder-only preview party for the opening of Shipwreck: Realm of the Eels in the spring.

For more information, visit NewportAquarium.com or call 800-406-FISH (3474).

Immersive New Shipwreck Exhibit Coming to Newport Aquarium

NEWPORT, Ky. — Newport Aquarium announced today Shipwreck: Realm of the Eels, an extensive new exhibit that will be opening in spring 2020. Guests will discover the ruins of a long-ago sunken ship scattered across the sea floor, now home to hundreds of animals including mysterious eels, brightly colored fish and curious crustaceans as they thrive in this accidental reef.

 

Shipwreck: Realm of the Eels will be one of the biggest developments since Newport Aquarium opened in 1999 and represents over a million-dollar investment in the guest experience. It will fully transform the 20-year-old space previously known as Dangerous & Deadly into an open and immersive environment for guests to explore.

“We’re always listening to our guests to figure out what new adventures they want in their next visit,” said Newport Aquarium Executive Director, Eric Rose. “To be able to create an artificial reef teeming with ocean life, thriving in a sunken ship is really going to wow them. But it’s not just the fun of this environment that we get excited about, it’s also the chance to teach visitors about the value of artificial reefs and ocean conservation.”

Shipwreck: Realm of the Eels will feature five zones, each with its own unique ship elements and animals to discover:

Captain’s Quarters: Rising up from the sea floor, the mast of the ship and tattered sails flow high above the remains of the captain’s quarters. A group of majestic green moray eels reaching up to 5 feet long have made their home there as masters of the ship. Nearby, the ship’s wheel awaits your turn as a fun photo opportunity with the eels and other residents including spiny lobsters and hundreds of fish.

The Treasure Chest is the perfect photo opportunity.

Treasure Chest: The ship’s treasure was lost to the sea but has been found by beautiful jewel colored fish who now make the treasure chest their home. Step into their luxurious reef to be surrounded by 270 degrees of beautiful sea life and gleaming gold coins, a perfect spot to take a photo among the real treasures of the sea.

Cargo Hold: Fascinating animals thrive among the barrels and crates that held the ship’s cargo. Flamboyant cuttlefish with tentacles, undulating fins and mesmerizing color-changing camouflage scuttle about. Dozens of garden eels pop up from the sand and flow with the current while strange and colorful frogfish imitate corals as they await the approach of their next meal.

Ship’s Anchor: The ship’s anchor now plays anchor to a thriving community of fish. The chain moray eel runs the roost with its impressive black body covered in yellow chain-like rings. It shares this safe spot with tangs, triggerfish, grouper and more.

Ropes and Rigging: Enter the ship’s wreckage and pop-up into a dome to be surrounded by the ropes and pulleys that once held everything together. They now form a forest of protection for the animals that call it home. Find venomous and beautiful lionfish with their long flowing fins, scorpionfish with their venomous spines and the purplemouth eel with its long fin running the entire length of its body.

Annual Pass Deal:
From November 1 to December 31, 2019 Newport Aquarium is offering Annual Passes on a “Buy 3, Get 1 Free” sale. Annual Passes are valid for one year from the date of purchase, so guests can use them now to experience Scuba Santa’s Water Wonderland and into next year, including a VIP Passholder-only preview party for the opening of Shipwreck: Realm of the Eels in the spring.

To learn more, visit NewportAquarium.com or call 800-406-FISH (3474).

 

Newport Aquarium Welcomes Two Dozen Baby Alligators

NEWPORT, Ky. — Newport Aquarium announced today the addition of two dozen adorable baby alligators to the popular Gator Alley collection of exhibits.  Guests will have the opportunity to see baby alligators swimming in the bayou and basking on its banks. The aquarium is celebrating their growing family with a Bayou Baby BOGO offer. Through November 3rd, buy one general admission ticket and get one of equal or lesser value for free.

Just in time for the cool, brisk weather, guests can watch the hatchlings explore their new home, which replicates a cypress swamp like those found in Florida and Louisiana. Alligators thrive in the warm, humid temperatures of the bayou, so this new home is a perfect nursery for the Bayou Babies. “Seeing a group of baby gators in the wild is exciting but can be rare. They have a lot of natural predators, so they are excellently camouflaged,” said Newport Aquarium General Curator, Kelly Sowers. “It’s so special that guests get to see the babies up close and watch them grow up at Newport Aquarium.”

The hatchlings are about one month old and only six inches long. Baby alligators grow about a foot a year during their first few years. They can grow to be as big as or bigger than Snowball and Snowflake, the aquarium’s rare white alligators. Our dedicated Animal Care Team is overseeing the hatchlings and monitoring their weights, measurements and food intake. As the Bayou Babies are acclimating, they’re slowly being introduced to their larger exhibit where they’ll swim under guests’ feet as they cross over a clear floor. But first, they’re spending time in a “baby pool” on the bayou’s beach and dock area. “What’s especially cute is to see the baby gators perched up on the rocks in the baby pool when they’re being fed by a member of the Animal Care Team,” said Sowers.

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The American alligator was brought back from the brink of extinction in the 1980s. It is an endangered species success story so these baby alligators are important ambassadors for education and learning. “Their story should help us all appreciate these amazing and important animals today. They can teach us a huge lesson in how to protect other species that are in danger of going extinct,” said Sowers. 

Buy One Get One FREE

See the Bayou Babies now during the Bayou Baby BOGO where you can buy one admission and get one admission of equal or lesser value for free. This offer is available through November 3rd with advance purchase online at Newport Aquarium.com.

Mermaids Arrive at Newport Aquarium

Mermaids are swimming into Newport Aquarium, enchanting guests September 28 through October 14. Guests will get to explore Mermaid Cove, where a mermaid can swim right up and meet them along with their stingray friends. With this new addition, guests will now have three opportunities to see and interact with mermaids throughout Newport Aquarium. Add a couple of pirates, and it’s a swashbuckling good time!

The magical mermaid experience begins in Shark Ray Bay Theater where Newport Aquarium guests will be greeted by a mermaid while she’s sitting on her throne. It’s the perfect photo op, while ocean friends like Denver the sea turtle, Sweet Pea the shark ray and the sand tiger sharks all swim nearby beyond the giant underwater window.

Mermaid Kailua is from the Kona Coast of Hawaii. Where she spent her days swimming along the reefs cleaning invasive algae and cleaning up debris from the human world.

Next stop on the journey to find mermaids is the tropical habitat of the Coral Reef. Visitors will be mesmerized when they see a real-life mermaid swimming gracefully underwater, alongside her tropical fish friends in the 30-foot long, 60,000-gallon Coral Reef Tunnel.

New for 2019 – The mermaids have taken over Stingray Hideaway, and transformed the tropical locale into Mermaid Cove. This unique new interaction allows the mermaid to swim with her stingray friends, show off her glorious tail and talk to guests while they touch the stingrays. With the mermaids visiting from different parts of the world, it’s the perfect spot for them to tell their new friends all about their adventures and how important ocean conservation is for them and all sea life.

“Newport Aquarium’s mermaids are a magical tradition that families look forward to every year,”    said Eric Rose, Executive Director at Newport Aquarium. “Sometimes we forget the magic in our world but when you see the look on a child’s face when they meet a mermaid, it’s undeniable.”

Daily mermaid appearances are included with regular admission, and guests can visit NewportAquarium.com for more information.

Mermaid and Pirate Breakfasts
An add-on experience this year is the Mermaids and Pirates Breakfast on Sept. 9, Oct. 6 and 13 from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Get exclusive access to meet a mermaid and pirate while dining in Newport Aquarium’s Riverside Room with beautiful views of the Cincinnati Skyline and Ohio River. As a bonus, each child will receive a magical piece of treasure to take home during the meet & greet. After breakfast, guests will be invited into the aquarium before it opens to be among the first to see the mermaids swim.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit NewportAquarium.com or call 800-406-FISH (3474).

 

 

National Zoo Keeper Week 2019

This week is National Zoo Keeper Week. Our Biologists may not have the official title of “Zookeeper,” but they do give exemplary care to the animals that live here at Newport Aquarium. Here’s a brief glimpse into what they do behind the scenes!

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Newport Aquarium has thirteen biologists that care for all of the fish, reptiles, amphibians, and penguins that have their home here. Care for these animals is more than just simply feeding and giving the animals some attention. They also have a lot of food preparation, cleaning, and maintenance work to do!

All of our seafood and produce is restaurant-quality and prepared with great care by our team.

Food preparation for the animals is a major part of the day. The animals at Newport Aquarium have very specific diets, and it is the job of our biologists to make sure they get the exact food they need. A lot of research is done to ensure that we are getting the right food items and nutrients to each animal. If you step into our animal kitchen in the morning, you may see a variety of fish, shrimp, salads, and bugs. If the Sharkrays are eating, you may even see whole Lobster! All of our seafood and produce is restaurant-quality and prepared with great care by our team.

Senior Biologist Jen, feeding Denver, our adult loggerhead sea turtle at his station. Denver is about 24 years old and weighs about 205 pounds! His favorite foods include fish, squid and salmon which he eats regularly, about 3-5 days a week.

Training is an important part of the care of many of our animals here at Newport Aquarium. Animals like the white alligators and our sharkrays are Target Trained. This means that they know to come to a target pole to get their food. Denver the loggerhead sea turtle and some of our stingrays are Station Trained. This means that the animals know to come to a specific location when asked to. This helps the biologists safely work with these animals and ensures that every one of them gets the food and care they need.

Biologist Kelly target training our Caiman Lizard.

 

Life at the aquarium could get boring if it wasn’t for our biologists and the enrichment they give to the animals. Enrichment can be anything from a new object in the enclosure, changing around their furniture, a new scent, sounds of their wild cousins, or a new food item. Our biologists use enrichment all of the time to stimulate each animal’s mind, keep them active, and help our animals engage in natural behaviors.

Introducing new objects encourages animals to explore, and it enriches their lives.

 

Animals can be messy, so our biologists have to always be ready to clean! This can be anything from cleaning the algae on the glass, to doing water changes, to scrubbing penguin “mess.” By the end of the day, they might be dirty, but the animals homes are clean and looking great!

Biologist Kristen scrubbing the glass of our paddlefish tank.

 

 

 

 

Biologist Rob cleaning our Coral propagation tank.

Health care is always on the mind of a good biologist. Daily observation of the animals helps to spot a problem before it starts. And if the need arises, our biologists work closely with our Vet Team to address any issue.

Our Vet Team evaluating some scans from Victoria the penguin.

 

 

What day is complete without a little bit of paperwork? This aspect of our biologists’ day isn’t well known to many people. Everything we do for the animals gets logged every day. This way, we have accurate records of what the animals ate, what kind of enrichment or training we did, or if there are any problems that we’re seeing. Paperwork is the biologists’ least favorite part, but it is critical to making sure our animals are well taken care of.

Biologists hard at work doing their afternoon paperwork.

 

 

 

 

 

Our biologists are animal conservation heroes. You may have noticed, some of our biologists share their passion with local TV stations.

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Our biologists put in a hard day’s work, but they say it is worth it to know that the animals in their care are healthy and thriving. We are grateful for the work they do during this National Zookeeper Week and every other day of the year!

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Giant Sea Life Sand Sculptures Taking Shape at Newport Aquarium

Didn’t get to make it to the beach this summer? Newport Aquarium is bringing the beach to you. #SharkSummer has been extended with the addition of giant sea life sand sculptures to be discovered along the adventure. During this promotion, one child gets in free with each full price adult on select dates and times.

14.5 tons of sand help comprise three large sand sculptures in Newport Aquarium. This one celebrates the aquarium’s 20th anniversary.

 

International grandmaster sand sculptor Damon Farmer is producing the custom sculptures. They will feature dozens of animals from the aquarium and will reach up to 8 feet tall. The sculptures are produced from more than 14.5 tons of sand. Guests visiting from Monday July 22 to Thursday July 25 will get to see the artist in action, actually producing the huge sculptures. Starting Friday July 26 they will be fully complete and on display through the end of #SharkSummer on September 8.

Guests can see grandmaster sand sculptor Damon Farmer in action this week while he builds the 6-8 foot tall sand sculptures.

 

In honor of #SharkSummer, each of the sand sculptures will include sharks and hidden elements for families to discover. “These sculptures are just so detailed. Everything from sharks to sea turtles and penguins will be seen but the closer you look, the more you’ll see down to the smallest of fish and corals,” said Newport Aquarium Executive Director, Eric Rose. “They really are a celebration of all the animals, perfect as we celebrate our 20th Anniversary this year.”

Each sand sculpture has a different theme. This is the beginning of “Turtle Reef” inside Stingray Hideaway, it will feature sea turtles, stingrays and many more aquatic animals. Each sculpture will also include a shark, signifying #SharkSummer.

Shark Capital of the Midwest
Guests can journey through the aquarium, discovering what makes this Tri-State gem the shark capital of the Midwest. See sharks like never before when you “dare to cross” Shark Bridge over the open waters of the 385,000-gallon Surrounded by Sharks exhibit. Touch five different species of sharks in Shark Central. Then, get nose-to-nose with sharks when they swim next to you and above you as you venture through more than 80 feet of acrylic tunnels.

Sand sculptor, Damon Farmer, references some of his inspiration as he sculpts a shark on top of this sand sculpture.

#SharkSummer is the perfect time to visit with extended hours, Newport Aquarium is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily until August 31. The 1 Kid FREE offer is available during select dates and times until September 8, and tickets must be purchased online.

Shark Summer Takeover Tuesday: Raising Sharks

Hello, my name is Sam and I am one of the aquatic biologists here at Newport Aquarium! If you are looking for me around the aquarium you will most likely find me behind the Dangerous and Deadly gallery or working in Shark Central. Working with aquatic animals, especially elasmobranchs (sharks and rays) is my passion and I am thankful every day that I have the opportunity to use my passion here! Sam

 

Fuji is one of our Japanese Bullhead Sharks in Shark Central. He came to us malnourished and not eating on his own. Scott Brehob, the biologist who took care of the sharks in Shark Central before me, developed a method of tube feeding him nutrient-packed slurry and Fuji started to gain weight and his health improved. I was able to use what Scott started to get Fuji eating solid foods with little assistance and I am excited to say that he is doing better than ever!

It’s breakfast time in Shark Central. I hand feed Fuji, one of our Japanese bullhead sharks.

One of my favorite parts about being a biologist is seeing the animals I take care of grow and show signs of improved health. A method I use to measure the growth of my animals is to periodically record weight and length. Here two other biologists, Matt and Jen, are helping me measure the length of Fuji. I am very fortunate to be part of such a supportive and helpful team of biologists here at the Aquarium!

Assistant Curator, Matt, and Senior Biologist, Jen, assist during our Shark Central checkups.

One way that I ensure my animals are getting proper nutrition is by feeding them a variety of food sources and supplementing their diets with vitamins.

Most animals will not just eat the vitamin tablet by itself, so I have to hide it in the food I feed them!

Another cool animal I get to take care of is an electric eel! If you notice I am using a plastic feeding stick because full grown electric eels, such as this one, have been known to produce electrical pulses of up to 700 volts! So when I work with him I have to be sure to use equipment that does not conduct electricity!  electric eel

This little guy is a porcupine pufferfish. He has one of the biggest personalities out of all of my animals. When I come up to his tank he will swim right up to the surface of the tank expecting food. If I am not feeding him that day he will actually spit water at me! I never realized that fish could have such different personalities until I started working with them on a regular basis!

porcupine pufferfish

Meet this friendly pufferfish in our Dangerous & Deadly gallery.

 

Lionfish are as beautiful as they are dangerous. They have 18 venomous spines and so I have to be extra careful when I am cleaning their exhibit. While they are not a problem in their native Indo-Pacific habitat, they have become a destructive invasive species in the Caribbean Ocean and are a threat to many of the native fish.

Lionfish

Lionfish are beautiful and dangerous. They’re also an invasive species.

Although most people think piranhas are vicious, they are in fact quite docile when they are well-fed. They run in packs for safety, not strength. And, they aren’t apex predators—they’re prey. Piranhas will leave you alone if you leave them alone. They travel in “shoals” to protect the inner fish in the group from attacks. When they swim in groups like this, they tend to have a hierarchy of larger, older fish towards the center and younger fish on the outer edges.

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Thanks for following me along on this #TakeoverTuesday. I grew up watching Steve Irwin and Jeff Corwin, and they inspired my dream and passion to be a biologist at an Aquarium. I absolutely love working at Newport Aquarium and I can honestly say that I have started my dream career here!

Thanks for following me along on this #TakeoverTuesday. I grew up watching Steve Irwin and Jeff Corwin, and they inspired my dream and passion to be a biologist at an Aquarium. I absolutely love working at Newport Aquarium and I can honestly say that I have started my dream career here!

Celebrate #SharkSummer and Meet a Baby Shark at Newport Aquarium

NEWPORT, Ky. — Just when you thought you got the “Baby Shark” song out of your head, it’s time to celebrate Shark Summer at Newport Aquarium, with a brand new baby shark! The Shark Capital of the Midwest is kicking off the summer season and Memorial Day weekend with free kid’s admission and a fintastic event celebrating sharks! During #SharkSummer, guests will get the opportunity to journey through the aquarium, discovering fun shark facts and shark related exhibits around every corner. They’ll even get to touch sharks in Shark Central.   Plus, Sundays through Fridays, one kid (ages 2-12) gets in free after 4 p.m. with the purchase of a full-priced adult ticket. This offer is available for a very limited time only from May 26 to July 21 and must be purchased online at NewportAquarium.com.

SharkSummer_BabyShark_1080New Baby Shark
Newport Aquarium is excited to announce a baby epaulette shark, born at Newport Aquarium, will be on exhibit for the first time ever during Shark Summer! Guests will also get a chance to help name the baby shark this summer. Once grown, the epaulette shark will follow in her parents’ “fin-prints” and become an ambassador for her species through the WAVE Foundation’s Wave on Wheels community outreach efforts. In the meantime, guests can watch her grow up in her new home inside the Seahorses gallery.

Extended Summer Hours
Just in time for summer, Newport Aquarium is extending its summer hours and will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily between May 25 and August 31.

Two Summers of Fun with an Annual Pass
For a limited time only, guests will get two extra months free when they purchase an Annual Pass.  That’s 14 months of fun and discovery for the price of 12 months, plus exclusive Passholder events, bring a friend free days and additional savings throughout the year. Plus, be the first to know about VIP experiences as Newport Aquarium celebrates its 20th anniversary all year long.02SharkSummerLogoWithSurfBoards_PNG - Copy

#SharkSummer
With extra time and free kid’s admission, guests have the opportunity to visit Newport Aquarium for Shark Summer, which runs May 26 to July 21. See sharks like never before when you cross over the open waters of the 385,000-gallon Surrounded by Sharks exhibit on Shark Bridge. Experience what it feels like to touch five different species in Shark Central. Then, get nose-to-nose with sharks when they swim next to you and above you as you venture through more than 80 feet of acrylic tunnels.

Shark-Infested Activities during #SharkSummer

Shark Nursery – See shark eggs from three different species of sharks. Guests will have the opportunity to see the early stages of life as a baby shark grows in the egg.

Shark Bridge – More than 3 million thrill-seekers have dared to cross Shark Bridge! Included with admission, Shark Bridge is a 75-foot-long rope bridge suspended just inches above nearly two dozen sharks.

Shark Talks and Dive Shows – Guests catch their first and largest views of shark rays and sharks in Shark Ray Bay Theater. Divers take questions from the audience about the biology and conservation of sharks and other animals found inside the huge habitat.

NPAQ_SharkTunnel

Explore the tunnels, and be Surrounded by Sharks!

Shark Tank Feed – Guests can watch biologists feed the sharks and shark rays from either the Shark Ray Bay Theater, Surrounded by Sharks tunnels or through a biologist’s point-of-view from the Shark Tank Overlook.

NPAQ_SharkCentral_Touch Experience

Guests can touch more than a dozen different sharks in Shark Central.

Touch Sharks – Inside Shark Central, guests have the opportunity to touch more than a dozen kelp forest sharks including Japanese bullhead sharks, Port Jackson, Leopard Catshark and Striped Catshark species. An Animal Experience Specialist teaches guests the proper technique to touch sharks and helps them understand each species in this international collection.

For more information, visit NewportAquarium.com or call 800-406-FISH (3474).