News and Events North America

Popular Jellyfish Exhibit to Stay at Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium Guests “Dive” Into the Deep and Complicated World of Jellies

By Sheena Quinn

Chicago, IL - Shedd Aquarium announced today that its popular special exhibit, Jellies, sponsored by Walgreens, has been extended through 2013. Since launching the exhibit last spring, Shedd has welcomed over 1.1 million guests to the mysterious world of these rarely seen creatures that survive—and thrive—without bones, blood, or brains.

From the beautiful, translucent moon jellies to fascinating sea nettles, Jellies showcases over 10 species throughout this temporary special exhibit. Guests “dive” into the deep and complicated world of jellies, learning how their simple bodies have allowed them to survive for millions of years. Among the educational experiences, guests will learn how a jelly can devour enough food to double its weight each day, and how sea nettles hunt by trailing their long tentacles and frilly feeding arms covered with stinging cells that paralyze prey upon contact.

A National Foodie Event at Smithsonians National Zoo

Tickets are Now on Sale for ZooFari—D.C.’s Foodie Event of the Year

By Devin Murphy

Washington, DC - The Smithsonian’s National Zoo feeds 400 species regularly, but on May 17 Friends of the National Zoo will host the human species at ZooFari, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Guests are invited on a culinary safari to sample gourmet fare from more than 100 of the D.C. area’s finest restaurants. The list of restaurants includes Citronelle, Marcel’s, Equinox, 1789 Restaurant and Graffiato. Fifteen vintners will be on hand to cleanse diners’ palates with glasses of wine between bites.

One highlight of the evening will be a zoo-themed cake decorating contest hosted by Top Chef finalists Mike Isabella and Spike Mendelsohn, and Equinox and Watershed owner, Todd Gray. Teams of pastry students from the Art Institute of Washington will compete for top honors from the judges. The winning team will be revealed on the Great Meadow at 9:15 p.m.

World's Smallest Antelope Species Gives Birth at Virginia Zoo

A Male Blue Duiker was Born Saturday, April 21, to Mom Peanut at Virginia Zoo

By Winfield Danielson

Norfolk, VA - A new member of the world's smallest antelope species is now receiving visitors at the Virginia Zoo's Exhibit Building.

The male blue duiker, named Todd, currently weighs just over 1 pound and was born Saturday, April 21, to mom Peanut and father Cinco. Visitors should keep a sharp lookout, though, because the baby duiker is just a little larger than a guinea pig and likes to hide among the habitat's bamboo.

"This is Peanut's first baby, and she seems to be doing a great job," noted zookeeper Aubry Hall.

Asiatic Wild Ass Added to Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Exhibit

Two Female Persian Onagers Exhibited at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

By Joe Yachanin

Cleveland, OH - Two female Persian onagers arrived at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Tuesday. This endangered subspecies of Asiatic wild ass has never been exhibited at the Zoo before. Zoo guests will be able to see them as they acclimate to their new home in Northern Trek.

The Zoo received the mother-daughter onagers from The Wilds, a private, nonprofit conservation center in southern Ohio. Onagers resemble domestic donkeys, but are heavier and larger, with full-grown males capable of reaching up to 6 feet long and weighing up to 600 pounds.

Wells Fargo Donates $15,000 to Florida Aquarium

The Florida Aquarium’s Science Education At Sea (SEAS) Receives Grant

By Katherine Chakour

Tampa, FL - The Florida Aquarium announced today that Wells Fargo has made a donation of $15,000 for the sponsorship of The Florida Aquarium’s Science Education At Sea (SEAS) week-long summer institute.

SEAS is available to 15 teachers from around the state of Florida each year who seek to deepen their science knowledge and master methodologies for teaching marine biology and related environmental issues. “A primary component of The Florida Aquarium’s mission has always been to educate audiences of all ages,” said Debbi Stone, Vice President of Education at The Florida Aquarium. “It is through the education of our teachers that we are able to have the greatest impact within our community, and we are grateful for our longstanding partnership with Wells Fargo and their support of our SEAS program.”

A Couple of Cougars Hang Out at Nashville Zoo Looking for Younger Men

Cougars are Also Known as Mountain Lions, Pumas or Panthers

By Jim Bartoo

Nashville, TN - Two new cougars are now on exhibit at Nashville Zoo. The 7-month old juveniles were part of a trio of cubs rescued in Washington State after being orphaned in the wild. The Zoo plans to alternate the juveniles onto exhibit with the Zoo’s existing cougar Jackson, who will be easing into retirement. Current plans are to have the two young males available for public viewing in the afternoons beginning at approximately 1:30.

“The cubs are beautiful,” said Connie Philipp, director of animal collections at Nashville Zoo. “They were very nervous when they first arrived, but the keepers have quickly developed positive relationships with them. They are very much attached to each other as you would expect.”

To The Arctic 3D Opens at the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX 3D Theater

To The Arctic 3D Photography is Amazing

By Thom Benson

Chattanooga, TN – Our planet’s northernmost latitudes are colder than cold. Above the Arctic Circle lies an immense place of extreme conditions and pure, breathtaking vistas that few people will ever experience firsthand. But beginning April 20th, audiences at the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX 3D Theater will have an opportunity to take a virtual trip to the top of the world when To The Arctic 3D opens on the giant screen. Within a land of snow and ice, a heart-warming tale of a mother’s love emerges.

Director Greg MacGillivray uses the high-impact of IMAX ®3D to place viewers on ice floes to get extraordinarily close to a mother polar bear and her two cubs. After nearly four years of filming on the ice and on the Arctic Ocean, the crew suddenly fell in love with the new stars of To The Arctic 3D. “We were extremely fortunate,” said MacGillivray. “Never before had filmmakers tracked a polar bear family at such close range, 24 hours a day, for nearly a week. We knew this was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

Join Oregon Coast Aquarium's Earth Day Celebration April 21st

This Year’s Earth Day Theme is “Together We Can”

By Cindy Hanson

Newport, OR - The Oregon Coast Aquarium will celebrate Earth Day Saturday, April 21 with a variety of earth-friendly activities and exhibitors. The event will include children’s crafts, face painting and information booths offering information on animals, invasive species and native plants. Visitors can enjoy organic snacks, green powered smoothies and free tree saplings. The event is free with the price of admission from 10 am to 4 pm.

Exhibitors for Earth Day will spotlight their best and most earth-friendly products. Rooster Plow Farms will offer their popular Goat Milk Soap as well as assorted vinegars, jams and jellies. Lincoln County Master Gardeners will present information about composting and green gardening. Calise Soapworks will be offering soaps, candles and lip balm. There will be a variety of green snacks to enjoy, including samples of organic hummus, salsas, smoothies, vegetarian samples and homemade treats from Depoe Baykery. Thompson’s Sanitary will provide information about recycling and proper disposal of household products. The Lincoln County Soil and Water Conservation District will share ideas for ocean-friendly gardening and native plants. There will also be information about smart pet choices and invasive animal species.

The New River Giants Exhibit is Opening April 28th at Tennessee Aquarium

A Seven-Foot Lake Sturgeon will be Among the River Giants in the New Exhibit

By Thom Benson

Chattanooga, TN – There's something primal that leads people to wonder what's lurking below the surface of any large river. Humans seem to be hardwired to be both fascinated by, and somewhat fearful of, Volkswagen-sized catfish. Soon a remarkable collection of freshwater fish that can reach such legendary sizes will be on display at the Tennessee Aquarium. The new River Giants exhibit, opening April 28th, features amazing species that grow to enormous proportions in the wild. “These guys are the Goliaths of freshwater,” said Thom Demas, the Aquarium’s curator of fishes. “And, for the first time anywhere, people will have an opportunity to see a global collection of these giants in a single display."

Giant pangassius catfish, that can reach lengths of more than nine feet in the wild, will be joined by a seven foot beluga sturgeon, impressive Australian whiprays, beefy barramundi and a menagerie of other freshwater creatures from around the world. Demas says some species like marbled eels, ghostly-white alligator gar and wallago will add a bit of the weird to this collection of monster fish. “The wallago catfish is one of my personal favorites,” said Demas. “It has the face of a bullhead and an eel-like body. In Southeast Asia, wallago can grow to eight feet in length.”

News and Events Europe

'Star-Fish Weekend' on May 5th -7th at Tynemouth's Blue Reef Aquarium

Every Tank Which Features One of the Fishy Characters has a Sign Next to It

By Drew Cunliffe

Tynemouth, UK - Tynemouth’s Blue Reef Aquarium is putting the spotlight on the real life heroes and heroines of the marine world as part of their ‘Star-Fish Weekend’ on May 5th -7th.

Visitors will be able to come face to face with living characters from films like ‘Finding Nemo’, ‘Shark Tale’ and ‘Little Mermaid’ and learn all about the true stories behind their fictional namesakes.

Special talks and a trail around the aquarium will help identify the real stars of the show.

Tynemouth's Blue Reef Aquarium Showcases Young Photographer

The Young Photographer is a Member of the Ashington Co-Op Camera Club

By Drew Cunliffe

Tynemouth, UK - A young wildlife photographer has so impressed staff at Tynemouth’s Blue Reef Aquarium that they are planning to exhibit a selection of his pictures on site.

Twelve-year-old Lewis Bond, from Ashington, is a regular visitor to the Tyneside wildlife attraction.

During a recent trip he snapped pictures of one of the aquarium newest arrivals and Lewis’ favourite animal – Reg the iguana.

Blue Reef’s Anna Pellegrino said: “Everyone here was extremely impressed when we saw Lewis’ pictures of Reg and we decided to ask him to exhibit a selection of his wildlife photographs here at the aquarium.

News and Events World

PepsiCo and Coca Cola Contribute to Ocean Plastic Related Deaths

Pepsi and Coca Cola's Impact on Ocean Life

By Rudy Socha

Charleston, SC - Four things to know about wild marine birds, fish and animals before discussing how the cola wars affect marine life.

1. Most wild animals when injured will mask their illness so predators will not attack them.

2. Once a wild creature becomes close to death they hide in a safe spot so as not to be eaten alive. Few are ever found or rescued.

3. Most wildlife stay away from crowded public beaches. They breed and grow in areas not frequented or easily accessible by the public.

4. For many species, if an item does not taste bad or hurt them when consumed, they are content eating it. Any one with a puppy will gladly testify to this fact. Wildlife is not as taste sensitive as humans and do not care about flavor.

Westpac Aquarium has a New Tiny Carpet Shark Aproximately 10 cm in Length

Spot Some Unborn Babies as they Wriggle Around in their Egg Cases at Westpac Aquarium

By Tessa Mills

Portobello, New Zealand - This Easter come to the Aquarium in Dunedin and meet some very cute babies. They are CARPET SHARK babies, and in the last few weeks several have hatched out of their egg cases where they have been growing for the last year or more. You can also meet their older brother who hatched out last year - see how much he has grown!

Look carefully in the egg tank and you will may spot some unborn babies as they wriggle around in their egg cases. It could be another year before some of these sharks hatch out!

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Meet the Aquarium Director

Meet the Aquarium Director, Julie Packard, Executive Director, Monterey Bay Aquarium

Name: Julie Packard

Actual title: Executive Director

Name of your aquarium: Monterey Bay Aquarium

Location: Monterey, California, USA

URL for your facility:

Number of species at your facility: 550

Your favorite critter at the facility: Ocean sunfish

Total number of animals or fish at your facility: 35,000

Number of visitors annually: 1.9 million

Number of employees: 404

Number of volunteers: 1,200

Annual budget: $58 million

Meet the Zoo Director

Meet the Zoo Director, Patrick T. Mangus, Executive Director, National Aviary

Name: Patrick T. Mangus

Actual title: Executive Director

Name of your zoo: National Aviary

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

URL for your facility:

Number of species at your facility: 200

Your favorite critter at the facility: African Penguins

Total number of animals or fish at your facility: 600

Number of visitors annually: 153,000

Number of employees: 45

Number of volunteers: 20

Annual budget: $4 million

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