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.

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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.

Progress Continues at Newport Aquarium’s #SharkWall

By Derek White, Newport Aquarium PR Aide

Sand tiger shark

Sand tiger shark

NEWPORT, Ky. – The second week of work on Newport Aquarium‘s new #SharkWall began Monday (June 30), with the ArtWorks Cincinnati artists focusing on the underpainting of the wall.

The #SharkWall underpainting consists of darker colors, such as brown and gray, that go over all the animals to add overall depth to the mural once the rest of the colors are added later.

Currently underpainting work on the largest penguin on the far right of the wall and the shark ray on the far left are well under way and should be completed Wednesday. The plan for the artists is to work from the outside and meet in the center.

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Jellyfish

Once the first layer of underpainting is completed, they will begin adding colors over the current layers to get the animals to their finished look. This will be followed by a translucent gloss that will give the #SharkWall an underwater appearance.

Rosalind Tallmadge, the designer of the #SharkWall, is happy with the progress she sees. Tallmadge, who is in her eighth summer with ArtWorks Cincinnati, is very excited to be working on the project. This is the first mural she’s designed of this size and admits that it’s the most in-depth and, with its location, the most visible mural she has ever worked on.

The mural will be approximately 300 feet wide, 35 feet high on the far left and 25 feet high on the far right.

ArtWorks apprentices Shealyn Hollingshead, a student at Ohio University, and Kara Crowe of St. Henry High school, are excited to see the progress of the #SharkWall.

According to the duo, it’s taken nearly three days to finish the underpainting process, with the final touches to be completed by midweek.

For those stopping by to check out the progress in the coming weeks, ArtWorks employees have been fielding questions from the public. Apprentice Jenna Webster, a soon-to-be Northern Kentucky University student, has emerged as the designated person guests would want to speak with.

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Like many of the apprentices, Webster discovered the opportunity through her school and she is thrilled about her involvement.

“I’m really, really enjoying this so far and we’re making a lot of progress,” said Webster.

So if you happen to walk by while they’re working, say hello to Webster and the team as they continue working!

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Spectators can already be seen walking slowly to picture just how the many soon-to-be filled-in lines will come to life. One of many who were admiring the work this week is Leigh Whitaker, a Newport Aquarium Annual Passholder.

“I like it so far, it looks great! I wish I could do that, I wouldn’t even be able to do that on a small scale,” said Whitaker as she walked from end to end checking out the progress.

Whitaker says she will definitely be back to keep up with progress now that they’re starting to take shape.

“I’ll have to bring my daughter out here, she loves art,” said Whitaker.

The ArtWorks Cincinnati team believes it will be putting in the finishing touches on the #SharkWall in just four week.

Newport Aquarium shares Whitaker’s enthusiasm and looks forward to seeing the final product.

Service Members Welcomed to Newport Aquarium on Memorial Day Weekend with Military Discounts; Summer Deals Announced

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NEWPORT, Ky. – In honor of Memorial Day weekend, Newport Aquarium is proud to welcome service members from all branches of the U.S. military to take advantage of the Aquarium’s military discounts.

All active or retired military, disabled veterans, military reservists, spouses and dependents can receive a $3-discount on admission to Newport Aquarium by showing a military ID at the ticket window. Dependent children can also receive a $2-discount on admission when accompanied by an adult with a military ID.

In addition to year-round military discounts, Newport Aquarium has offers sure to please everyone throughout the summer; from giant turtle encounters, to free admission for children, to Cincinnati Reds combo tickets.

Our VIP Bravo Experience allows guest to get up close and personal with our 650-pound Galapagos tortoise.

Our VIP Bravo Experience allows guest to get up close and personal with our 650-pound Galapagos tortoise.

VIP Bravo Experience: Beginning Tuesday, May 27, guests can purchase an exclusive behind-the-scenes encounter with Bravo, a 650-pound Galapagos tortoise and the largest turtle in the Midwest! This approximately 30-minute experience includes an educational behind-the-scenes tour of the both the aquarium and Bravo’s exhibit from an Animal Experience Specialist; an up-close-and-personal view of Bravo eating; and a complimentary photo while posing with Bravo taken from a professional photographer. VIP Bravo Experiences will be available for purchase for $60 and are limited to three tours of five people per day.

Summer Family Days presented by Pampers: Newport Aquarium is pleased to announce the return of Summer Family Days, when up to two kids (ages 2-12) get in free with each adult paying full price. This family-favorite offer will be available for purchase online only for visits between the hours of 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. from May 26 through Aug. 29, Sundays through Fridays. This offer will be unavailable July 4 through July 6.
http://www.newportaquarium.com/Aquarium-admission.aspx

Extended Summer Hours: From May 23 through Aug. 30, Newport Aquarium will be open from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. http://www.newportaquarium.com/What-to-do-in-cincinnati.aspx

Artworks Cincinnati Mural: As part of Newport Aquarium’s 15-year anniversary celebration, high school students from Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky will collaborate with Artworks Cincinnati starting in June on a summer-long project to design and produce a mural along the exterior Ohio riverside wall of Newport Aquarium. The mural will be pay reference to aquatic life exhibited at Newport Aquarium over the past 15 years, with a September expected completion date. http://www.artworkscincinnati.org/

15-Year Anniversary Time Capsule: To help commemorate its 15-year anniversary, Newport Aquarium will place a time capsule on exhibit in August. Facebook fans of Newport Aquarium will have opportunities throughout the summer to give suggestions on the time capsule’s contents before it goes on display for the next 10 years. Guests whom would like to be immortalized in the time capsule can email their photos taken while at Newport Aquarium. Those photos will be saved on a flash drive to go inside the capsule. Guests can send their photos to timecapsule@newportaquarium.com.

Reds-Celebrate

Cincinnati Reds Combo Ticket: This summer, the Cincinnati Reds and Newport Aquarium are teaming up to provide discounted combo tickets. For select 2014 Reds home games, a family of four can enjoy Newport Aquarium and a Reds game for as low as $100. Every Reds game ticket sold includes a voucher for one general admission ticket to Newport Aquarium. http://www.newportaquarium.com/reds

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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Since 1999, 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. 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 to Celebrate 15-Year Anniversary Beginning May 1

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NEWPORT, Ky.Newport Aquarium opened to the Greater Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky community on May 15, 1999. To celebrate its upcoming 15-year anniversary, the Aquarium has a schedule full of events, discounts and promotions starting May 1 that will extend throughout the summer months.

May 15
15-Year Anniversary Media Event: Politicians representing Northern Kentucky, Cincinnati, Campbell County and the state of Kentucky, as well as business leaders from both sides of the Ohio River, will be present for a press conference to celebrate Newport Aquarium’s 15-year anniversary.

 May 1-15
FOX19.com $19.99 discounted tickets: WXIX-TV FOX19 Cincinnati will air one segment per day May 1-15 featuring unique aspects of Newport Aquarium. At the close of each segment, there will be information on how guests can purchase discounted general admission tickets to Newport Aquarium for only $19.99 through fox19.com. The $19.99 price is in homage to the year 1999, when Newport Aquarium opened to the public. Tickets are available for any visit date through May 31, 2014, but must be purchased on or prior to May 15, 2014 (while supplies last). http://www.fox19.com/

NAQPenguinSHORT_APBannerMay 1-21
Annual Passholders Bring-A-Friend Discount: Newport Aquarium Annual Passholders can purchase tickets for their friends and family members for just $15 for adults and $10 for children. Limit one (1) discounted guest ticket per Annual Pass. Offer and tickets valid Mondays-Fridays May 1-21, 2014.
http://www.newportaquarium.com/Aquarium-admission/Annual-Passes/Special-Offers.aspx

May 1, 5-8
Buy One Get One Free Penguin Encounters and Backstage Animal Experiences: On May 1 and May 5-8, guests can buy one Penguin Encounter or Backstage Animal Experience and get a second free.
http://www.newportaquarium.com/Aquarium-admission/Additional-Experiences.aspx?icid=bogodeal-camain

May 23
World Turtle Day: American Tortoise Rescue, a nonprofit organization established in 1990 for the protection of all species of tortoise and turtle, is sponsoring its 14th annual World Turtle Day™ on May 23. The day was created as an observance to help people celebrate and protect turtles and tortoises and their disappearing habitats around the world. What better way to spend World Turtle Day in the tri-state than to visit Newport Aquarium and its newest exhibit, Turtle Canyon?

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May 23-Aug. 30
Extended Summer Hours: From May 23 through Aug. 30, Newport Aquarium will be open from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. daily.

May 26-Aug. 29
Summer Family Hours: From May 26 through Aug. 29 (excluding Saturdays), between the hours of 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., two children 12 years and under are admitted free with the purchase of one non-discounted adult ticket.

June
Artworks Mural: Starting in June, high school students from Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky will collaborate with Artworks Cincinnati on a summer-long project to design and produce a mural along the exterior riverside wall of Newport Aquarium. The mural will be pay reference to aquatic life exhibited at Newport Aquarium over the past 15 years, with a September expected completion date. More details to follow.

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Newport Aquarium, the No. 1 aquarium in the country according to USA Today’s 10Best.com, showcases thousands of animals from around the world in a million gallons of water. 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