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Spring Break Fun at the Tennessee Aquarium

2/28/2011 1:59:38 PM

Spring break turns into a wild adventure at the Tennessee Aquarium when kids get a chance to get closer to some of the Aquarium’s most amazing animals and discover what it’s like to care for them. Explore behind the scenes, meet penguin experts, feed feisty otters, make enrichment toys for playful parrots or learn what it takes to properly wrangle reptiles. Kids, age six and older, may choose two of the 19 different activities offered throughout the day.

Aquarist Jake Steventon describes sea turtle care to a group of Keeper Kids.

Above Image: The sea turtle adventure is just one of the nineteen Keeper Kids activities offered at the Tennessee Aquarium during spring break.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                       Contact: Thom Benson 423-785-3007
Spring Break Fun at the Tennessee Aquarium March 12th – April 17th
Keeper Kids Activities and New Family Adventure Cruises

Chattanooga, Tenn. (February 28, 2011) - Tennessee Aquarium veterinarian Dr. Chris Keller has one of the coolest jobs in the world. He often goes from examining rare turtle species and toothy alligators to checking the beaks of bluebirds, mandarin ducks and hyacinth macaws in a single day. “It’s a lot of fun working with all of these animals,” said Keller. “Each species has different requirements and physical adaptations that make this job challenging and rewarding.”

Visitors are always wondering what it’s like to be a biologist in charge of caring for the Aquarium’s exotic species. Their questions are as diverse as the creatures living here - Are penguins friendly? (Sometimes.) Can catfish get as large as a Volkswagen? (Not in the United States.) How do you feed the sharks so they won’t eat other fish? (By giving them enough to feel full without overfeeding.) What do jellyfish eat? (Mainly brine shrimp.) To find the answers to these questions, and many more, the Aquarium will offer the chance to go behind the scenes as Keeper Kids during spring break March 12th through April 17th, 2011.

Children, ages six and up, may choose two of the 19 different daily activities being offered FREE with Aquarium admission. They’ll venture into “keepers only” areas to meet SCUBA divers or penguin experts, feed feisty otters, make toys for playful parrots or discover what it takes to properly wrangle reptiles. Each program lasts approximately 15 to 20 minutes and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. According to Dr. Keller, it’s like getting the chance to be Dr. Dolittle for the day. “This is a great opportunity to get closer to many of the Aquarium’s animals and get to know them a bit better,” said Keller. “They might even try talking to a toucan or rapping with a ray. Just let me know if any of the animals besides the parrots do any talking too.”

In addition to the Keeper Kids activities inside the Aquarium’s two buildings, there’s a new way to get closer to nature aboard the River Gorge Explorer. The Williams Island Family Adventure Cruises will give everyone a chance to view a heron rookery and osprey nest during a 90-minute excursion. Naturalists have added an on-board scavenger hunt to these fast paced adventures. “We’re going to have a lot of fun showing everyone the wildlife and talking about the rich history of Williams Island,” said Aquarium naturalist John Dever. “Spring is a great time to be out on the river.”  These new cruises will depart daily March 12th to April 17th from the Chattanooga Pier. Special Spring Break pricing will be offered for these cruises: $20/per person (age 3 and up), $18/per person under age 3.

Visitors are also invited to extend their Spring Break fun at the IMAX® 3D Theater. Guests have until April 7th to fly through the universe with NASA Astronauts while viewing Hubble 3D. Or audiences may choose to join ten-time world surfing champion Kelly Slater in Ultimate Wave: Tahiti 3D. Slater and others show what it takes to ride the towering, six-story waves thundering across the screen while learning about the creatures that live below the blue waters of this island paradise.

Coming to the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX® 3D Theater April 8th – Born To Be Wild 3D. This heartwarming adventure, narrated by Academy-Award® winner Morgan Freeman, documents orphaned orangutans and elephants and the extraordinary people who rescue and raise them. This new film transports moviegoers into the lush rainforests of Borneo and across the rugged Kenyan savannah to meet celebrated animal experts as they and their teams rescue, rehabilitate and return these incredible animals back to the wild.

Get the daily Keeper Kids schedule of activities at: http://www.tnaqua.org/SpringBreak.aspx

Learn about Chattanooga Spring Break Safari adventures at: http://springbreaksafari.com

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