Posts Tagged 'calypso'



Animal Update – September 7

Between our Baltimore and Washington, DC, venues, more than 17,500 animals representing 900 species call the National Aquarium home. There are constant changes, additions, and more going on behind the scenes that our guests may not notice during their visit. We want to share these fun updates with our community so we’re bringing them to you in our weekly Animal Update posts!

Check our blog every Friday to find out what’s going on… here’s what’s new this week!

Animal transports completed in preparation for Blacktip Reef! 

All of our animals have been moved from Wings in the Water so that renovations can begin on the exhibit space! A tarpon and hogfish were moved to their new home within the Aquarium, the Atlantic Coral Reef exhibit. On Monday, our team moved Zeke, Zoe and Calypso to their temporary home behind-the-scenes in our animal care facility.

Calypso getting ready for the big move on Monday!

Additionallythe lionfish habitat next to Wings in the Water was permanently broken down. Our lionfish were given to the Newport Aquarium in Kentucky. The Sargassum triggerfish, queen angelfish, spotfin butterflyfish and blue tang from this tank can also now be seen in our Atlantic Coral Reef exhibit. 

A staff member carefully cleaning out the lionfish reef tank

For more on our changes in preparation for Blacktip Reef, check out our recent update!

New additions in Maryland: Mountains to the Sea exhibit 

Black sea bass, black drum and winter flounder fish have been added to our Atlantic Shelf gallery.

Stop by our Atlantic Shelf tank to get a good look at our new black sea bass!

We have a new baby! 

We are so proud to welcome a new addition to the Upland Tropical Rain Forest exhibit – a Linne’s two-toed sloth was born in late August! The baby is the first born to Ivy, one of the four sloths in the exhibit, and is the third sloth born at National Aquarium.

Can you spot the baby sloth? Ivy and her new infant are free roaming the Rain Forest exhibit and will be particularly good at hiding in the trees for at least a few weeks.

To find out more about our newest addition, click here.

Be sure to check back every Friday to find out what’s happening!

Blacktip Reef Update: Animal Transports

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 weeks have been extremely busy for teams all over the Aquarium! Our Animal Care staff worked diligently to move and relocate all the animals that had lived in the Wings in the Water exhibit. Some of these animals moved to new homes within the Aquarium, and some joined new families at Georgia Aquarium and Ripley’s Aquarium.

National Aquarium staff worked speedily to move animals. Photo courtesy of John Soule

Three of our guest favorites, Calypso, Zeke, and Zoe, made one of the last moves from the exhibit this week.

National Aquarium divers eased Calypso into a large lift with tasty fish treats. Photo courtesy of John Soule

But they haven’t traveled far! The temporary home for these animals is in one of our behind-the-scenes animal care areas, where they will be enjoying a little “vacation” with some of their other fish friends.

It takes a big team to move a big turtle like Calypso!

Now that the animals have been removed and the water has been drained, some of the bigger construction components have begun. You can see some of our team building scaffolding to prepare for even more.

Watch this video to learn more about our recent changes: 

Stay tuned for more Blacktip Reef updates! 

Wounded Warriors dive in the Aquarium

This summer, the National Aquarium welcomed some very special guests for a very special evening. Nine wounded soldiers from the Walter Reed Army Medical Center were able to live a dream and scuba dive in the Aquarium as part of their rehabilitation programs.

Wounded Warriors Dive

These veterans, who participate in a program called Soldiers Undertaking Disabled Scuba (SUDS), were taught the basics of Aquarium diving and safety procedures before plunging into the world of sting rays, sharks, and more than 50 species of fish. Each diver was accompanied in the water by dive professionals from the Aquarium.

Wounded Warriors Dive

The animals responded exceptionally well and greeted all of them. Calypso, our green sea turtle who also happens to be an amputee, was very curious and interactive. One of the double-amputee veterans was in the Wings in the Water exhibit and Calypso came over to look at his prosthetic legs and then just sat down in his lap. She was a huge hit with all of the veterans, and everyone had a great time!

Wounded Warriors Dive

The National Aquarium is honored to have worked with these heroes, and we look forward to doing this again soon!

A special Halloween costume

Our green sea turtle, Calypso, became costume inspiration for 4-year-old Gabe last Halloween. As three-year members, Gabe’s family visits the Aquarium quite often, making a trip once every five weeks. Through these frequent visits, Gabe has had time to explore many of the underwater creatures at the Aquarium.

Out of all the interesting animals Gabe has encountered, he is most fascinated with Calypso. Calypso is unlike the other aquatic animals because she has only three flippers.

Calypso is a rescued turtle that was stranded off the coast of Long Island, New York, in 2000. The female turtle was suffering from a condition called cold stunning, which is similar to hypothermia in humans. Turtle body temperatures normally range from 76° to 80° Fahrenheit, but Calypso’s body was only a frigid 40.7° Fahrenheit. Additionally, one of her flippers was found to have a severe infection, and had to be amputated. Due to the amputation, Calypso had a low chance of surviving in the wild, so the National Aquarium adopted her and made the Wings in the Water habitat her permanent home.

Although Calypso has only three flippers now, she is still very active. She leads a healthy life by munching on greens regularly. Gabe likes to watch her eat lettuce during feeding time. He also enjoys watching Calypso glide through the water with the other animals in the exhibit, including rays, sharks and several fish species.

Gabe’s costume idea became a reality after his school, and particularly his art teacher, agreed to help with the construction of it. The body of the costume was made out of papier-mâché. A matching camouflage hat and green sweatsuit completed the turtle look. The costume turned out wonderfully, and Gabe loved being his favorite animal for Halloween!

Has an aquatic animal ever been the inspiration for your Halloween costume? If so, send your story and pictures to media@aqua.org and we’ll post them on our blog!


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