Alligator Awareness Day

Today is Alligator Awareness Day. Alligators are mainly spotted in the southeastern parts of the United States, including Florida, Alabama and Mississippi, but you can spot seven American Alligators right here at Newport Aquarium! American alligators are the first animals to ever be put on the endangered species list, but were later removed thanks to education and conservation of the species.

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White Alligators:

Our white alligators are the most unique because not many of them are found in the wild or even in zoos or aquariums. Snowball (14 years old) and Snowflake (12 years old) are two of fewer than 100 known white alligators in the world.

These unique creatures look the way they do because they are albino, specifically a type called amelanistic. Biologist, Erin Muldoon said this means the alligators have “a loss of the pigment, melanin. This gives them their white skin and red eyes.” This condition also gives them the inability to blend in with their surroundings, or protect themselves from the sun.

Just as certain genes are passed down from a parent to a child, Snowball and Snowflake would most likely pass down Albinism if these two were to have babies.

Baby Gators:

Newport Aquarium currently has four baby alligators. Carl, Willard, Edmund, and Murphy are ambassador animals for their species. They are part of our Animal Outreach Program. They were all born in August 2015 at St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park.

baby alligator

Guests get a one-on-one interaction with a baby alligator during a Backstage Animal Experience.

In order to keep people interested and informed about these gators, guests at Newport Aquarium are able to get up close and personal with them. “Allowing guests to touch and interact with these animals helps to spark a connection that can inspire them to help preserve these animals and their wild habitat,” said Muldoon.

The WAVE Foundation at Newport Aquarium takes the baby alligators to schools, libraries, daycare centers and senior centers. To learn more about having the WAVE on Wheels Educational Outreach Program visit you, click here.

Our baby gators will eventually return to St. Augustine once they reach a certain length and size, and then we will welcome a new batch of baby gators!

Mighty Mike:

Our well known gator Mighty Mike made his debut return with us in 2013, and has been catching the eyes of many ever since.

Mighty Mike

Guests can get eye-to-eye with Mighty Mike in Gator Alley.

Guests can get eye-to-eye with Mighty Mike in Gator Alley. Mike is around 15 feet long and is estimated to weigh around 700-800 lbs.

You must be thinking…How do you feed such a BIG gator? “He is target trained, which means that he must come to a target to get his food. One of his current favorites right now is chicken,” Muldoon said.

Feeding Mighty Mike

Herpetologists, Erin Muldoon and Ryan Dumas have target trained Mighty Mike.

Alligator Facts:
There are only two species of true alligators in the world, the American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) and the endangered Chinese Alligator (Alligator sinensis).

Compared to crocodiles, alligators have a rounder and wider “U” shaped snout. Also, when the alligator’s jaw is closed, the fourth bottom tooth cannot be seen.

Most alligators prefer to live in fresh water.

Stop by and discover the wonder of all of the animals at Newport Aquarium – the land-dwelling species, and aquatic animals, and we’re sure you’ll make memories worth repeating.

To learn more about the Backstage Animal Experience at Newport Aquarium, click here.

 

 

Newport Aquarium announces All-Star roster

NEWPORT, Ky. — Thousands of baseball fans are expected to flock to Cincinnati this July for the 2015 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

This year’s Midsummer Classic will be played on July 14, 2015, at Great American Ball Park – which is the home of the Cincinnati Reds and located just a Babe Ruth home run away from Newport Aquarium across the Ohio River.BUYNOW2_ButtonAs excitement mounts for watching baseball’s best play on one field, for one game, to determine whether the American League or National League pennant winner receives home-field advantage in the World Series, a lot of discussion has sparked among Newport Aquarium staff over who is most deserving of making the All-Star teams.

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Welcome to the MLB All-Star Game in Cincinnati from Newport Aquarium!

This conversation inevitably led to the question, “If Newport Aquarium had an All-Star team, who would crack the starting lineup?”

After intense debate, we finally came up with a consensus. Ladies and gentlemen, your Newport Aquarium All-Stars:

NAqAll-Stars_BaseballDiamond

Pos. Name Species Scouting Report
1B Mighty Mike American Alligator The biggest and baddest alligator outside the state of Florida displays the raw power desired from a corner infielder.
2B Kevin Bacon King Penguin Chick This rookie is a natural diver, which is great for fielding groundballs up the middle.
SS Cal Sand Tiger Shark When you’re named after Cal Ripken Jr., it’s practically assumed that you play shortstop.
3B Paula African Penguin Aside from being a great base runner (as evidenced by the video above), this South Africa native feels right at home at the hot corner.
C Denver Loggerhead Sea Turtle His shell provides natural padding for blocking wild pitches from behind home plate.
P Pork Chop Asian-Small Clawed Otter This “southpaw” was one of the few animals at Newport Aquarium with the arm to pitch.
LF Sweet Pea Shark Ray Sweet Pea has a knack for finding the “Sweet Spot” of the bat.
CF Hercules Arapaima Fish His ability to jump out of the water to catch prey translates well to center field, where he can rob potential home run balls.
RF Greg Sandbar Shark Named after power-hitting outfielder Greg Vaughn, who played for the Reds in 1999, Newport Aquarium’s first year.

The team would be managed by Thunder, a more than 100-year-old alligator snapping turtle and Newport Aquarium’s oldest resident, who has the experience to lead this group to victory.

What are your thoughts on Newport Aquarium’s All-Star roster? Did we hit a home run or swing and miss? Give us your thoughts with a comment below!BUYNOW2_ButtonPacket Pickup for The Color Run MLB All-Star 5K, presented by Nike: Newport Aquarium will be staffing the packet-pickup operations for The Color Run MLB All-Star 5K, presented by Nike. Registered racers can pick up their packets from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. July 9-10 near the old IMAX building adjacent to Newport Aquarium and near the valet circle next to Brio Tuscan Grille at Newport on the Levee. The Color Run MLB All-Star 5K, presented by Nike begins July 11 at 9 a.m. AllStarGame.com/Run

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Summer Family Hours: Newport Aquarium is making a splash this summer with the return of its Summer Family Hours promotion, when up to two children (ages 2-12) receive FREE admission between 4-7 p.m. with the purchase of one full-priced adult ticket. This family-favorite offer is available for purchase online only, at newportaquarium.com, for visits now through Aug. 31, Sundays through Fridays.

Ride the Ducks Combo: For baseball fans traveling to the Queen City for the All-Star Game, Ride the Ducks is a perfect way to tour Greater Cincinnati. Ride the Ducks is the only tour in the region that uses amphibious World War II replica DUKW vehicles that travel on land and water. A 45-minute Ride the Ducks tour splashes down in the Ohio River and travels through downtown Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. A Newport Aquarium/Ride the Ducks ticket combo allows you to experience two of Cincinnati’s best family-friendly attractions for one low cost. More info

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
Instagram: @newport_aquarium

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