“These birds are the BMW’s of the
penguin world,” says director of husbandry and operations
Jackson Andrews. “They are active penguins that are lively
and fun to watch. These birds spend a lot of time in the water,
which should really impress visitors with the way they “fly”
underwater leaving a bubble trail behind.”
cold climate creatures means these birds have additional life
support requirements that have to be met. So designing Penguins’
Rock meant building a home that’s unlike any other exhibit
at the Tennessee Aquarium.
animal on exhibit at the Aquarium has extensive life support
systems that can be seen on our daily behind the scenes tours.
Each gallery is truly a self contained “world of its
own.” But Penguins’ Rock will be like its own
spaceship with the level of air and water quality raised to
consider the 18,000 gallons of water first. For happy Gentoos
and Macaronis, that water needs to be kept at a chilly 45
degrees Fahrenheit. That means the tank and room needs to
be heavily insulated. “Think of this exhibit like a
huge refrigerator with a giant pool of chilly water inside,
and you begin to understand how extensive the insulation has
to be,” says Andrews who is overseeing the construction.
The water will be filtered in many of the top-notch ways all
of the exhibits are, including using ozone as a disinfectant.
and people like clean air to breathe. But if these birds could
talk, they would also add its best when there’s a nip
in the air. So the air inside Penguins’ Rock will begin
as pre-filtered and cooled air from inside Ocean Journey.
Then it will be chilled and filtered further inside the exhibit.
Ultra-violet light technology will be added to the space aged
gadgets used to keep these birds happy and healthy.
these elements are coming together quickly so Penguins’
Rock will be ready for grand opening during the first week
of May. That’s when Gentoos and Macaronis will take
one small waddle for visitors to the Tennessee Aquarium, and
one giant leap for penguin-kind, right into their wavy pool
of chilly water.
Chills of excitement are building as word gets out that penguins
are coming to
Downloadable images available at http://www.tnaqua.org/Newsroom/Photo_library.asp
Aquarium inspires wonder and appreciation for the natural
world. Admission is $17.95 per adult and $9.50 per child,
ages 3-12. Each ticket purchased helps support Aquarium conservation
programs. The IMAX® 3D Theater is next door to the Aquarium.
Ticket prices are $7.95 per adult and $5.50 per child. Aquarium/IMAX
combo tickets are $22.95 for adults and $13.50 for children.
Advance tickets may be purchased online at www.tnaqua.org
or by phone at 1-800-262-0695. The Aquarium, located on the
banks of the Tennessee River in Chattanooga, is a non-profit
organization. Open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas,
the Aquarium and IMAX are accessible to people with disabilities.
Members enjoy unlimited visits and other benefits. Call 267-FISH