Posts Tagged 'calypso'

2013 Re-cap: The Making of Blacktip Reef

This year, many of us here at the Aquarium had one thing on the brain - Blacktip Reef

From demolition to animal acquisitions, construction to animal introductions, countless hours of work from all of our departments went into the creation of this $12.5 million dollar exhibit!

As 2013 comes to a close, we’d like to take a moment to look back at how Blacktip Reef was made: 

Animal Transports

Before construction could begin on our new exhibit, the animals in our old Wings in the Water exhibit had to be safely removed!

Many of the animals that called Wings in the Water home, like our zebra sharks (Zeke and Zoe) and green sea turtle (Calypso) were moved behind-the-scenes, where they could patiently await the creation of their new home. Others were moved to other exhibits at the Aquarium or to other accredited institutions.

Want to see how we transport animals like our 500+ pound sea turtle? Check out our video:

Construction

After all the animals had been safely removed from the exhibit space and the necessary demolition was finished, the construction phase could begin!

Blacktip Reef‘s construction process included the installation of a 28 foot acrylic window and the individual placement of over 3,000 coral pieces, creating the perfect re-creation of an Indo-Pacific reef habitat.

Want to see how all of that coral was crafted by hand? Check out our video: 

Animal Introductions

The process of introducing animals into the exhibit began in early July, with the transport of Calypso!

Calypso

After Calypso and a few hundred fish had acclimated well to their new home, all 20 of our blacktip reef sharks were added to the exhibit.

In October, our last animals were introduced into the exhibit! Over the period of two weeks, we added three wobbegong sharks and a huge Napoleon wrasse!

national aquarium humphead wrasse

It has been an incredibly busy and rewarding year. From all of us here at the Aquarium, we’d like to sincerely thank everyone for their continued support!

Here’s how YOU can support the continued growth and evolution of our newest exhibit!

Turtle Tuesday: She’s Baaaaaacck!

Today marked another important milestone for our Aquarium family as we introduced the first animal, our 500+ pound green sea turtle Calypso, into our Blacktip Reef exhibit!

Calypso's introduction to Blacktip Reef

After a “mini-vacation” behind-the-scenes while our central exhibit space was being transformed into a vibrant Indo-Pacific reef, Calypso was excited to explore her new home.

 A little bit about Calypso

After stranding off the shore of Long Island, New York, in 2000, a juvenile green sea turtle (only weighing about 6 pounds at the time) was transported to our Animal Care Center for rehabilitation in 2002. At the time of her rescue, Calypso’s left-front flipper had a severe infection, which required amputation. Because of her amputation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) deemed Calypso “non-releasable.” She’s been a beloved member of our Aquarium family ever since!

We’re excited for Calypso to continue to explore her new digs and meet the neighbors, as we introduce hundreds of animals into Blacktip Reef over the next month!

Stay tuned for more updates as our newest exhibit continues to come to life!

Blacktip Reef Featured on “The List!”

The animals for our newest exhibit, Blacktip Reef, were featured on yesterday’s edition of national news program, The ListClick below to watch the clip: 

National Aquarium on The List

The hundreds of animals that will call Blacktip Reef  home have been living at our Animal Care Center for the past year. Since their arrival in Baltimore, staff members like Senior Aquarist Ashleigh Clews have been working with these animals to acclimate them to a variety of new experiences like interacting with divers!

From the new and fascinating blacktip reef sharks to Aquarium favorites like 500+ pound green sea turtle, Calypso, the inhabitants of this vibrant Indo-Pacific reef (opening July 10th) are sure to delight our guests. 

For more behind-the-scenes Blacktip Reef updates, click here

Blacktip Reef Update: Meet the Animals!

We cannot wait for our new exhibit, Blacktip Reef, to open in summer of 2013! This coral-filled exhibit, replicating an Indo-Pacific ocean habitat, will feature 15 exciting species including blacktip reef sharks, reticulated whiptail rays, and ornate wobbegong sharks. It will also be the new home for some of our most beloved animals, including our 400-pound green sea turtle Calypso, and zebra sharks Zeke and Zoe. Guests will be able to experience this lively reef from many vantage points, including a new floor-to-ceiling pop-out viewing window that allows you to virtually step inside the exhibit.

It’s a long journey to opening day. Between animal transports, exhibit demolition, new construction, and habitat fabrication, as well as the acquisition of new animals, we’ll have a lot to update you on leading up to next summer. As we continue to build the future home of Blacktip Reef, stay tuned to learn about new changes here on our WATERblog!

Our teams have been busy all over the Aquarium preparing for Blacktip Reef! Animal care is our number one priority, so one of the biggest jobs is caring for the animals that will soon be added to the new exhibit.

Beginning in summer 2013, guests will be able to  see new animals like blacktip reef sharks, reticulated whiptail rays, ornate wobbegong sharks and napoleon wrasse!

Napoleon wrasse

Napoleon wrasse

The namesake animal of the new exhibit, the blacktip reef shark, is a smaller shark species that can grow to about 6 feet in length and bears distinctive black tips on its fins. Blacktip reef sharks are found in the shallow waters of the Indo-Pacific, hanging around reefs to feed. These sharks are sleek, beautiful, fast-moving, and hunt cooperatively in groups.

Blacktip reef shark

Blacktip reef shark

These facinating new species will be joined by some of National Aquarium’s most beloved animals, including Calypso, our 400-pound green sea turtle, and zebra sharks Zeke and Zoe!

green sea turtle

Calypso

Watch this video to learn more about the amazing animals that will be living in Blacktip Reef

Below are some of the other amazing species that will be joining our Blacktip Reef family!

  • Blotched fantail ray (Taeniurops)
  • Blacktip reef shark (Carcharhinus melanopterus)
  • Bluefin trevally (Caranx melampygus)
  • Bluestripe seaperch (Lutjanus kasmira)
  • Clown triggerfish (Balistoides conspicillum)
  • Emperor angelfish (Pomacanthus imperator)
  • Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas))
  • Reticulate whipray (Himantura uarnak)
  • Napoleon wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus)
  • Ornate wobbegong (Orectolobus ornatus)
  • Tasselled wobbegong (Eucrossorhinus dasypogon)
  • Potato cod (Epinephelus tukula)
  • Semicircle angelfish (Pomacanthus semicirculatus)
  • Spotted unicornfish (Naso brevirostris)
  • Zebra shark (Stegostoma fasciatum)

Stay tuned for more Blacktip Reef updates! 

Blacktip Reef Update: Construction

We cannot wait for our new exhibit, Blacktip Reef, to open in summer of 2013! This coral-filled exhibit, replicating an Indo-Pacific ocean habitat, will feature 15 exciting species including blacktip reef sharks, reticulated whiptail rays, and ornate wobbegong sharks. It will also be the new home for some of our most beloved animals, including our 400-pound green sea turtle Calypso, and zebra sharks Zeke and Zoe. Guests will be able to experience this lively reef from many vantage points, including a new floor-to-ceiling pop-out viewing window that allows you to virtually step inside the exhibit.

It’s a long journey to opening day. Between animal transports, exhibit demolition, new construction, and habitat fabrication, as well as the acquisition of new animals, we’ll have a lot to update you on leading up to next summer. As we continue to build the future home of Blacktip Reef, stay tuned to learn about new changes here on our WATERblog!

The past few months have been extremely busy for teams all over the Aquarium! Now that Wings in the Water  has been drained, we have transitioned into full-force construction of our new exhibit space and necessary upgrades of our life-support unit.

The exhibit space has now been drained and prepped for construction!

To protect our guests and animals from noise, odors and dust associated with construction, we’ve built a lid and temporary walls to cover the entire construction area.

This lid separates our visitors and animals from the work happening down below.

Demolition of parts of the tank have been completed, including the uncovering of the deep dive area that will give guests the opportunity to see more of the new reef. This area mimics reefs in the wild that often have deep pockets, where animals can explore and make their new home!

We’ve removed all of our old acrylic windows from the exhibit space. The construction team is now focused on preparing that area to house our new floor-to-ceiling pop-out viewing window that will give guests the opportunity to step inside the exhibit and come face-to-face with the animals!

An artistic rendering of the floor-to-ceiling pop-out window!

Watch this video to learn more about our recent changes: 

Stay tuned for more Blacktip Reef updates! 


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