Shark Week: Meet our Sharks

Since 1988, Shark Week has become almost a national holiday, popularized by Discovery Channel’s Shark Week, these amazing creatures have been a source of our own curiosity for decades. Newport Aquarium, Shark Capital of the Midwest, is home to nearly 50 sharks of all sizes! Make your way down to the aquarium this Shark Week to discover the wonder of sharks!

Shark Central

Guests can touch five species of sharks in the Shark Central touch tank.

Shark Central

Shark Central is home to more than a dozen smaller kelp forest sharks that guests can touch. With the proper two-finger touch technique, guests can have a personal encounter with these amazing creatures. Here are some of the different types of sharks guest can meet in Shark Central:

Horn Shark

The California Horn Shark hails from the waters of Southern California, Baja California,

Port Jackson, California Horn Shark

A Port Jackson shark (left) rests at the bottom of the tank next to the smaller California horn shark.

Galapagos Islands, and off the coast of Ecuador and Peru. Growing up to 48 inches in length, these little guys prefer kelp forests, sea caves, rocky reefs, and sand flats as their home. The horn shark’s diet consists of mainly urchins, crabs, abalones and other small invertebrates.

 

Leopard Catshark

This shark, reaching only about 34 inches in length prefers to hide safely in the bottoms of rocky reefs in small crevices.

napping sharks

A leopard catshark rests on top a pile of pyjama sharks. These sharks often take a nap in a pile.

These sharks are found mainly around southern and western South Africa. At night, the leopard cat shark leaves its hiding place to hunt for small fish, octopuses, worms, and crustaceans.

Leopard Shark

Not to be confused with the leopard catshark, these sharks might be small now but one day they could reach lengths of up to 7 feet.

leopard sharks

Leopard sharks can reach up to 7-feet long.

They prefer shallow, muddy, rocky and sandy areas like kelp forests. Their diet consists of mainly rays, bony fish, shrimp, octopuses, crabs, clams and worms. You can find these sharks in the eastern Pacific, from Oregon all the way down to Baja, California.

Port Jackson Shark

At full size, Port Jackson sharks can reach lengths of about 5.5 feet. These sharks love the waters of Southern Australia where they feed on mollusks, crustaceans, urchins and fish.

Port Jackson

The Port Jackson shark has a unique color pattern with dark, harness-like markings that cover the eyes, back and sides.

You can find them roaming through sandy, muddy and rocky environments as well as sea grass beds. There are two Port Jackson sharks in Shark Central. Their names are Sheila and PJ.

Striped Catshark     

Also commonly known as the pyjama shy shark, these sharks grow up to 40 inches long.

Pyjama shark

The striped catshark is also known as the Pyjama shark or shy shark.

They prefer rocky reefs, seas caves and crevices during the day and leave at night to hunt for crustaceans, fish, sharks, rays, worms, and cephalopods. The striped catsharks is mainly found around southern South Africa and southwestern Indian Ocean.

Surrounded by Sharks

This exhibit provides a truly unique experience for all those fascinated by sharks. Walk through the tunnels under a 385,000-gallon tank and watch as these fierce-looking and beautiful creatures swim right over your head. On your way out make your way to Shark Bridge and see if you have what it takes to DARE TO CROSS. Surrounded by Sharks is home to sand tiger sharks, zebra sharks, blacktip reef sharks, a nurse shark and shark rays.

Zebra Shark

Reaching up to 8 feet long, these sharks live in coral and rocky reefs as well as sea grass beds.

zebra shark

Zebra sharks are born with strips, which change into small dark spots as they mature.

They are mainly found in the Indo-Pacific from South Africa to the Red Sea in the West. Our zebra shark is named Roo!

Shark Rays

Shark Rays, also known as bowmouth guitarfish, live in tropical coastal waters of the western Indo-Pacific at depths of around 300 feet.

SharkRay_Group

Newport Aquarium is home to four shark rays: Sweet Pea, Scooter, Sunshine and Spike.

Usually found close the sea floor, the shark ray likes sandy or muddy areas where they can feed on bony fishes, crustaceans and mollusks. Newport Aquarium is home to four sharks rays: Sweet Pea, Scooter, Sunshine, and Spike.

Nurse Shark

Nurse sharks rest during the day. They have the lowest metabolic rate of any other assessed shark species.

Nurse Shark

Ziggy the nurse shark, rests alongside one of the tunnels in Surrounded by Sharks.

Nurse sharks live in shallow mangrove forests, sand flats, reefs, seagrass beds, and man-made objects. Reaching lengths of 14 feet, this shark hails from the eastern Atlantic, western Atlantic, and the eastern Pacific oceans. They feed on mainly mollusks, tunicates, crustaceans, octopuses, fish, sea snakes and rays. Look for Ziggy the nurse shark the next time you enter the tunnels of Surrounded by Sharks.

Sand Tiger Sharks

Sand tiger sharks reach lengths of up to 10.5 feet long. They are found in many temperate and tropical waters including shallow bays, inlets, coral and rocky reefs, shipwrecks and shelf drops.

Sand Tiger shark

All those teeth might make them look ferocious, but sand tiger sharks are a relatively docile, non-aggressive species.

These sharks are found almost everywhere except portions of the eastern Pacific. There are three sand tiger sharks at Newport Aquarium: Cal, Al, and Dan.

Blacktip Reef Sharks

Typically between 4 to 5 feet in length, the black-tip reef shark lives in and near coral reefs.

black tip reef shark

Here’s a rare view (not available to the public) of a black tip reef shark from the top of the feeding platform over Surrounded by Sharks.

They prefer to feed on fish, squid, octopuses, and shrimp that are old, injured or already dead. They are found in many spots including western Pacific, northern Australia, southeastern China and the western Indian Ocean. There are 8 blacktip reef sharks here at Newport Aquarium.

 

Epaulette Shark

Found in two locations in Newport Aquarium: Dangerous and Deadly exhibit and Stingray Hideaway. These sharks have a unique characteristic! The spot on their back acts as a defense mechanism because it looks like the eye of a much larger animal.

Epaulette shark

Epaulette sharks, Rocky, Clubber & Apollo were part of the first traveling Shark Cart outreach program with Wave Foundation. Guests can now see them in the Dangerous and Deadly exhibit.

Most predators will fear the large eye looking shape and back off. These sharks grow to about three feet long. They live around coral reefs and tidal pools around New Guinea and Australia. They usually feed on crustaceans, worms, and small bony fish.

Epaulette shark

One of the epaulette sharks guests can touch in Stingray Hideaway.

 

Coral Catshark
The coral catshark is a small, slender shark with a narrow head and elongated, cat-like eyes.

CoralCatShark

Two guests visiting Stingray Hideaway interacting with one of the coral catsharks.

They are found along shallow coral reefs across the Indo-West Pacific, from Pakistan and India to Malaysia and Japan. Guests can see and touch a coral catshark in the Stingray Hideaway touchpool, along with epaulette sharks.

Swell Shark

Swell sharks are found in rocky kelp beds from central California to central Chile. At Newport Aquarium, guests can spot a few in the Pacific Coast tunnel leading into Seahorses: Unbridled Fun. A swell shark can expand by filling its stomach with air or water when it feels threatened.

Swell Shark

The next time you pass through the Pacific Coast Tunnel, going into Seahorses: Unbridled Fun, see if you can spot a swell shark resting at the bottom.

To learn more about the sharks in Shark Central, and the Aquatic Biologist who takes care of the sharks, check out our Takeover Tuesday with Scott Brehob.

Celebrate Shark Week at Newport Aquarium

Newport Aquarium is the Shark Capital of the Midwest and with so many shark habitats to SEA, TOUCH and EXPLORE, it’s the best place to celebrate Discovery Channel’s Shark Week.

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 six 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.

Visit July 23 through July 30 to see nearly 50 sharks up-close, including sand tigers, zebra sharks, black tips, nurse shark, shark rays and more! Newport Aquarium currently features more than a dozen species of sharks from oceans around the world.

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Shark-Infested Activities:

Shark Bridge
– More than 2 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 tank.

Dive Show

One of the shark rays swims by during a Dive Show.

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

Touch Sharks – Inside Shark Central, guests have the opportunity to touch dozens of sharks. An Animal Experience Specialist teaches guests the proper technique to touch sharks and helps them understand each species in this international collection.

Summer Family HoursGet free kid’s admission during Summer Family Hours. Sundays through Fridays, one kid (ages 2-12) gets in free after 4 p.m. with the purchase of one full-priced adult ticket. This offer is available until September 1, 2017 online only: https://www.newportaquarium.com/Visitor-Tips/Aquarium-Events/Summer-Family-Hours.

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

 

 

 

Celebrate Shark Week at Newport Aquarium

Newport Aquarium is the Shark Capital of the Midwest and with more shark habitats to SEA, TOUCH and EXPLORE than ever before, it’s the best place to celebrate Discovery Channel’s Shark Week.

Visit June 26 through July 3 to see nearly 60 sharks up-close, including sand tigers, sand bars, black tips, hammerhead, nurse shark, shark rays and more!

Newport Aquarium currently features more than a dozen species of sharks from oceans around the world.

Shark Bridge

Newport_Aquarium_Shark_Bridge_HR_--¼2015_Steve_Ziegelmeyer-0799Experience sharks like never before by crossing the world’s first Shark Bridge.

Shark Bridge is included with general admission. For thrill-seekers who dare to cross, The V-shaped rope bridge is 75-feet-long and is suspended over the open water of the 385,000 gallon Surrounded by Sharks exhibit. As guests walk across, they’re just inches above more than two dozen sharks and shark rays.

Touch the Sharks

rsz_touching4Do you know what a shark’s skin feels like? Have you ever touched a shark fin as it glides across the water? See for yourself at Shark Central. You can touch dozens of sharks in the Shark Central Exhibit.

Learn the proper two-finger touch technique to make personal contact with these amazing animals.

Shark Talks/Dive Shows

Step into Shark Ray Bay Theater for your first and biggest view of our Shark Rays, sharks and the divers who care for them. Hear divers talk about the sharks and animals all around them and find out what you can do to protect a shark’s natural environment.

Divers even answer your questions!

Shark Ray Feed

SharkRay_Group[1]See rare Shark Rays – Sweet Pea, Scooter, Sunshine and Spike – being fed and trained by biologists in the Surround by Sharks Exhibit.

Shark Tank Feed

Are sharks ferocious eaters? Watch and decide for yourself as biologists feed the sharks in the 385,000 gallon Surrounded by Sharks tank.

View the sharks from the Surrounded by Sharks tunnels, or get a biologists’ point-of-view from the Shark Top viewing area.

Shark Tank Overlook

Get a fascinating topside view of the Shark Rays and their friends as you look down into the Surrounded by Sharks tank from one of the country’s largest open air tank displays.

Newport Aquarium’s Shark Bridge Celebrates One Year!

Newport Aquarium celebrates the one-year milestone of the world’s first Shark Bridge on April 30th. The V-shaped rope bridge is 75-feet-long and is suspended over the open water of the 385,000 gallon Surrounded by Sharks exhibit.

Newport Aquarium Shark Bridge

The world’s first Shark Bridge is 75-feet-long and is suspended over the open water of the 385,000 gallon Surrounded by Sharks exhibit.

It took about 788 hours of labor to make, build and install the Shark Bridge. More than 4 miles (approximately 21,750 feet) of rope was used to construct the Shark Bridge. It’s made of 1.5 tons of steel, and is strong enough to hold the weight of up to 20,000 pounds, which is equal to an entire semi-truck, 25 Mighty Mikes (our 14 foot, 800 pound American Alligator) or more than 600 King Penguins!

Newport Aquarium Shark Bridge

More than 4 miles of rope was used to construct the Shark Bridge. It’s made of 1.5 tons of steel, and is strong enough to hold up to 20,000 pounds.

Surround by Sharks is home to six species of sharks including our Sand Tiger Sharks, Sand Bar Shark, Zebra Shark, Black Tip Reef Sharks, Nurse Shark, and Scalloped Hammerhead. It also houses our four exotic Shark Rays Sweet Pea, Scooter, Sunshine, and Spike.

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You never know what you’re going to see when crossing Shark Bridge. Denver, the mischievous loggerhead sea turtle, might come to the surface to take a breath just below your feet. You can even watch as our biologists target feed our Shark Rays!

Newport Aquarium Shark Bridge

Shark Bridge is an interactive family walk through experience.

Don’t fear! If Shark Bridge isn’t for you, you are welcome to walk along the edge of the tank and you can still view all of the amazing animals swimming inside.

Crossing Shark Bridge is included with Newport Aquarium admission. Since opening last year, it has been estimated that guests have crossed Shark Bridge more than ONE MILLION times! Do YOU dare to cross?

Shark Bridge is an interactive family walk through experience. Walkers will experience slight side-to-side motion and some uneven footing. All guests must use the entrance due to the one-way direction of travel. All guests must walk themselves. No guest may be carried. Shark Bridge is an able-bodied experience. For the safety of all guests running, jumping, rough play, climbing, food and drinks, hard or soft casts or braces of any kind are strictly prohibited on Shark Bridge. Closed-toe shoes are recommended and shoes must be worn at all times. Children younger than 5 years old must be accompanied by a parent, guardian, or chaperone. Newport Aquarium is not responsible for lost or dropped items. Guests are encouraged to secure all items before entering Shark Bridge. Items that fall may not be able to be retrieved.

Newport Aquarium, the Shark Capital of the Midwest, announces Shark Week activities

Aquarium joins Species Survival Program for zebra sharks, to add 2 females on exhibit

NEWPORT, Ky. — The introduction of two female zebra sharks highlights a jaw-some lineup of Shark Week (July 5-12) activities at Newport Aquarium.

The addition of the two female zebra sharks will increase the number of exhibited sharks at Newport Aquarium to 56 across 15 species, the most in the Midwest.

As part of a breeding program sanctioned by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), both female zebra sharks will be introduced to the Coral Reef tunnel during a media event on July 6. The two females will eventually make their way to the Surrounded by Sharks tank, where two adult male zebra sharks reside.

Newport Aquarium will be a new participant in Species Survival Plan for zebra sharks when they add two female zebra sharks to the Surrounded by Sharks exhibit.

Newport Aquarium will be a new participant in Species Survival Plan for zebra sharks when they add two female zebra sharks to the Surrounded by Sharks exhibit.                                              (Photo credit: worldwildlife.org)

 

The AZA’s Species Survival Plan for zebra sharks calls for accredited institutions to help develop the population by arranging for biologically distant matches to meet in environments conducive to mating.

From touching sharks, to viewing sharks above, below and around, the most shark-infested place to celebrate Shark Week is Newport Aquarium, where there is always more new to see and do:

  • Shark Bridge – Guests can experience sharks like never before by crossing the world’s first and only Shark Bridge. Included with admission, the Shark Bridge is a 75-foot-long rope suspension bridge that hangs just inches above nearly two dozen sharks.
  • Surrounded by Sharks – Newport Aquarium’s signature exhibit, guests can travel through an 85-foot-long acrylic tunnel inside a 385,000-gallon tank as seven species of shark – scalloped hammerhead, sand tiger, whitetip, blacktip, zebra, sandbar and nurse – swim over and above.
  • 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. (July 5 and July 10-12: 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 Tank Overlook. (Shark tank feed 11 a.m. July 6 and July 8; Large shark feed 11 a.m. July 7; Shark ray feedings 1:30 p.m. July 6-10)
  • 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 touch technique and helps them understand each species in this international collection. (9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily)
  • Sharks After Dark Overnight – Guests can sink their teeth into some great shark facts and sleep safely as they swim above. Every Overnight Adventure includes exclusive aquarium access, shark-themed games and activities. (7:30 p.m. July 10)

    A portion of the proceeds from Shark Week tshirts will be donated to the WAVE Foundation.

    A portion of the proceeds from Shark Week t-shirt sales at the Newport Aquarium gift shop will be donated to the WAVE Foundation.

  • Shark Week T-Shirts for Conservation – Officially licensed Discovery Channel Shark Week T-shirts will be available for purchase at the Newport Aquarium gift shop starting July 5. A portion of the revenue generated from these Shark Week tees will be donated to the WAVE Foundation at Newport Aquarium, which supports aquatic conservation.

Two Summers of Fun: Now through July 29, guests who purchase a Newport Aquarium Annual Pass will receive two summers of fun – 14 months of unlimited visits for the price of 12. Annual Pass benefits include discounts on guest admissions; invitations to passholder-exclusive events; as well as discounts at select Newport on the Levee vendors and other partner attractions, including the Cincinnati Reds and Dollywood.

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

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Newport Aquarium, voted the No. 1 aquarium in the country by USA Today’s 10Best.com in 2012, 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 in 2014, and also 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.

Facebook: Facebook.com/NewportAquarium | Twitter: @NewportAquarium
Instagram: @newport_aquarium

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

World’s first and only Shark Bridge to open Thursday at Newport Aquarium

North America’s largest collection of scalloped hammerhead sharks now on exhibit

NEWPORT, Ky.Newport Aquarium’s all-new Shark Bridge – the only rope suspension bridge in North America where guests can walk just inches above nearly two dozen sharks – is scheduled to open to the public 10 a.m. Thursday, April 30.

The Shark Bridge is a 75-foot-long, V-shaped rope bridge suspended over the open waters of the Surrounded by Sharks exhibit’s 385,000-gallon tank. Should guests dare to cross, the Shark Bridge offers the thrill of walking closely atop sharks, shark rays, stingrays and hundreds of fish from an unrivaled vantage point.

DSC_6908

“For our thrill-seeking guests who dare to cross, Shark Bridge is a breathtaking way to experience sharks like never before,” said Eric Rose, executive director at Newport Aquarium. “It’s an adventure that you can only get at Newport Aquarium.”

A family-friendly attraction, Shark Bridge is included with admission to Newport Aquarium.

Commemorating the opening of the Shark Bridge, Newport Aquarium has added extremely rare scalloped hammerhead sharks into the Surrounded by Sharks exhibit.

After the scalloped hammerheads went into the Surrounded by Sharks exhibit April 27-29, Newport Aquarium now has the largest collection of scalloped hammerhead sharks on display in North America, as well as one of the largest in the world.

Each of Newport Aquarium’s scalloped hammerhead sharks were born in 2014 during the months of June and July near Kaneohe Bay in Hawaii, one of the most the most stable breeding grounds for the endangered species. Over time, these juveniles will triple in size as adult scalloped hammerhead sharks can grow up to 14 feet in length and more than 300 pounds.

Scalloped hammerhead sharks are now on exhibit at Newport Aquarium.

Scalloped hammerhead sharks are now on exhibit at Newport Aquarium.

“There are less than 20 institutions in the world with scalloped hammerhead sharks on exhibit,” said Chris Pierson, Newport Aquarium operations director. “Newport Aquarium is proud to be the only place in the Midwest that exhibits such a magnificent species of shark, and we are committed to educating our community about the importance of protecting this endangered species.”

Guests who pass through the Surrounded by Sharks exhibit can learn about the scalloped hammerhead conservation organizations the WAVE Foundation at Newport Aquarium is supporting – the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology at the University of Hawaii and the Costa Rica-based nonprofit Misión Tiburón.

In June 2014, scalloped hammerheads became the first species of shark protected by the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

For more information on Newport Aquarium, visit NewportAquarium.com or call toll free 800-406-FISH (3474). To learn more about the WAVE Foundation, visit wavefoundation.org.

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Shark Bridge Facts
It took approximately 788 hours of labor to fabricate, build and install the Shark Bridge.
More than 4 miles (approximately 21,750 feet) of rope was used to construct the Shark Bridge.

Approximately 1.5 tons (3,460 pounds) of steel were used to construct the Shark Bridge.

The addition of the Shark Bridge has tripled the viewing area that surrounds the shark tank for guests prior to exiting Newport Aquarium’s exhibits area.

Cincinnati-based GBBN Architects and THP Limited Inc. designed and engineered the Shark Bridge, with construction beginning in February and concluding in mid-April.

International Cordage Inc. out of Phoenix, Ariz. produced and installed the Shark Bridge.

Shark Research Group, Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, University of Hawaii
Headquartered at the University of Hawaii’s Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, the SRG’s goal is to gain a better understanding of the activities of adult scalloped hammerhead sharks in order to learn more about how to protect the species. The SRG is using satellite tags to record the distance traveled by female adult scalloped hammerheads that give birth at Kaneohe Bay, as well as studying behavior patterns of male scalloped hammerheads to learn their motivations for visiting the area.

Misión Tiburón, Costa Rica
While the scalloped hammerhead population near Hawaii is sustainable, most other distinct population segments around the world are at endangered levels, primarily due to overfishing. Such is the case near Costa Rica, where the nonprofit organization Misión Tiburón is leading efforts to educate the public about scalloped hammerhead’s threats, their nursery areas and how to keep them protected. Misión Tiburón believes harmful acts like finning will decrease when locals take pride in nearby marine life through education and awareness.

Newport Aquarium, voted the No. 1 aquarium in the country by USA Today’s 10Best.com in 2012, 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 in 2014, and also 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

From Frames of Steel to Nerves of Steel: Shark Bridge Construction Update No. 2

Jacque’line Wright, Newport Aquarium PR Aide

Construction workers at Sofco Erectors install steel frame work for the Shark Bridge.

Construction workers at Sofco Erectors install steel frame work for the Shark Bridge.

NEWPORT, Ky. — With just 21 days until it opens to the public, Shark Bridge construction at Newport Aquarium is feverishly progressing.

Newport Aquarium’s newest attraction, Shark Bridge is a 75-foot-long suspension rope bridge where you can walk inches above nearly two dozen sharks in the 385,000-gallon Surrounded by Sharks tank.

The floor is finished. The floating dock is in the water. What is the next step toward completion of the Shark Bride?

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The floating dock currently in the Surrounded by Sharks exhibit.

Just as it takes nerves of steel to cross the Shark Bridge; it also takes frames of steel to construct such a bridge.

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The steel frame for the Shark Bridge was halfway installed onto the ceiling on April 8.

On April 8-9, Cincinnati-based Sofco Erectors installed a steel frame onto the ceiling that will suspend the roped bridge above the shark tank.

Sofco Erectors’ list of past steel work projects includes Paul Brown Stadium, the Duke Energy Convention Center and the Aronoff Center.

The next step of Shark Bridge construction will be the hanging of the rope bridge, which is expected to begin tomorrow.

Shark Bridge opens to the public on April 30. Will you dare to cross?

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Newport Aquarium, voted the No. 1 aquarium in the country by USA Today’s 10Best.com in 2012, 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 in 2014, and also 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

Shark Bridge construction underway at Newport Aquarium

By Jacque’line Wright, Newport Aquarium PR Aide

DSC_5895

Floating work dock in the Surrounded by Sharks 385,000-gallon tank.

With the April 30 opening date nearing quickly, construction is underway on Newport Aquarium’s Shark Bridge.

Shark Bridge, Newport Aquarium’s newest attraction, is a nearly 100-foot-long suspension rope bridge where you can walk inches above the aquarium’s 385,000-gallon tank filled with seven species of sharks, four rare and exotic shark rays, multiple stingrays, and more than 300 fish! Will you dare to cross?

Stonhard, a New Jersey-based company that specializes in manufacturing and installing seamless floors, began the early stages of Shark Bridge construction by installing a new industrial floor system that surrounds the shark tank on March 25-26.

Shark Top floor

Before and after photos of the new flooring that surround the shark tank.

Stonhard Territory Manager T.J. Mangan and his Michigan-based installation crew covered the 1,400-square foot area around the shark tank with a teal-colored, three-part mix that is resistant to salt water.

According to Mangan, Stonhard has installed flooring at various aquariums throughout North America, including Mexico City Aquarium.

The next step in Shark Bridge construction will be installing steelwork that will allow the roped bridge to suspend from the ceiling. The steelwork has already been fabricated offsite and is set for delivery by the end of March. Installation for the steelwork is schedule to begin April 3, with an April 17 expected completion date.

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Stonhard members working on the installation of a salt-water-resistant flooring system that will surround Newport Aquarium’s 385,000-gallon shark tank.

The floating dock that construction workers will stand on while installing Shark Bridge is already in the shark tank.

You can see the dock while walking through the Surround by Sharks tunnel!

Newport Aquarium’s blog aquariumworks.org will provide further updates on Shark Bridge construction as it becomes available.

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Newport Aquarium, voted the No. 1 aquarium in the country by USA Today’s 10Best.com in 2012, 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 in 2014, and also 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 add North America’s first Shark Bridge

Aquarium’s 2015 exhibits lineup to include – back by popular demand – Otters!


NEWPORT, Ky.
– Newport Aquarium announced Wednesday an exhilarating 2015 lineup of coming attractions, featuring Shark Bridge, the only suspension bridge in North America where guests can walk just inches above nearly two dozen lurking sharks.

Scheduled for a mid-April opening, Shark Bridge is a 100-foot-long, V-shaped rope bridge suspended over the waters of the Surrounded by Sharks exhibit’s 385,000-gallon tank.

NAq_SharkBridge_SMALL

Shark Bridge will be the first of its kind in North America.

Should guests dare to cross, Shark Bridge will offer an exclusive adventure and unique perspective of walking closely atop seven species of sharks, four rare and exotic shark rays, multiple stingrays and more than 300 fish.

Shark Bridge will be a completely new way to experience sharks and a truly one-of-a-kind attraction available nowhere but Newport Aquarium,” said Eric Rose, executive director. “Our diverse collection of sharks is the cornerstone of our more than 90 exhibits, and guests will now be able to experience them like they never have.”

The addition of Shark Bridge will triple the viewing area above the Surrounded by Sharks tank prior to guests exiting the aquarium.

Scalloped Hammerhead Sharks
Coinciding with the opening of Shark Bridge in mid-April, extremely rare scalloped hammerhead sharks will be added to the Surrounded by Sharks exhibit.

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Newport Aquarium will be the first institution in North America to exhibit multiple scalloped hammerhead sharks.

This exhibition of scalloped hammerheads will help communicate the species’ conservation message to the public.

Newport Aquarium is working with field researchers from Hawaii, where the new hammerheads originated, to educate the public about scalloped hammerhead conservation.

The scalloped hammerheads will join 17 other sharks currently in the Surrounded by Sharks exhibit that include sand tiger, zebra, sandbar, blacktip, whitetip and nurse sharks.

Canyon Falls (featuring Otters)
Coming in mid-March, Newport Aquarium will open its newest exhibit, Canyon Falls, which will occupy the area that currently houses the Turtle Canyon exhibit.

Canyon Falls will be the new home to Asian small-clawed otters, which are back by popular demand after the aquarium previously exhibited otters from 2004 to 2013.

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Asian small-clawed otters are returning to Newport Aquarium in mid-March.

Newport Aquarium will offer scheduled otter talks at Canyon Falls that provide guests educational opportunities to learn more about otters and otter conservation.

Other additions to Canyon Falls include two species of lizard never before seen at Newport Aquarium – yellow monitor, a rare and active tree-dwelling lizard from Indonesia, and panther chameleon, one of the most colorful lizards in the world from Madagascar.

Remaining in Canyon Falls will be Thunder, a more than 100-year-old snapping turtle and Newport Aquarium’s oldest resident, as well as the Turtle Corral, where guests have the unique opportunity to touch several species of tortoises.

Weeki Wachee Mermaids
Mermaids from Weeki Wachee Springs, Fla., will return to Newport Aquarium in October. The announcement of their return comes on the heels of their wildly popular 10-day visit to Newport Aquarium in October 2014, which was the 67-year-old institution’s first visit to the Midwest.

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Weeki Wachee Mermaids will make a second engagement at Newport Aquarium in October.

Further details of Weeki Wachee Mermaids returning to Newport Aquarium will be announced on a later date.

Scuba Santa’s® Water Wonderland
A newly reimagined Scuba Santa’s® Water Wonderland will return for its 13th season on Nov. 27. The 2015 edition of Scuba Santa® promises to offer guests new features and experiences. Further details will be provided on a later date.

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A newly re-imagined Scuba Santa’s Water Wonderland will make its debut in November.

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

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Newport Aquarium, voted the No. 1 aquarium in the country by USA Today’s 10Best.com in 2012, 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 in 2014, and also 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