From John Seyjagat, Curator of Australia Exhibits
The National Aquarium’s Animal Planet Australia: Wild Extremes exhibit was recently awarded best exhibit in the North America zoo and aquarium community. As the curator of this exhibit, I must say I am overwhelmingly proud to have received this coveted award given by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) each year– and the first to claim bragging rights, as this project was no easy feat for our exhibit team!
Animal Planet Australia: Wild Extremes is a lot more than a new exhibit. We have harnessed modern technologies, innovative designs, interactive learning, visitor friendly exhibitory and a unique Australian animal and plant collection, to create a one-of-a-kind visitor experience.
There are so many great features to this exhibit. Perhaps my favorite aspect is how the exhibit plays on the “wow” factor by incorporating prey and predators all sharing common spaces. The habitats are alive with color, movement, and noise the unique animals tell stories of their own.
Among these stories are displays of how animals and people adapt to the harsh environmental factors that shape the land in which they live including floods, drought, and fire! Visitors are also given an up close and personal encounter with seldom seen animals like the prehistoric triops, giant fruit bats, and snake neck turtles.
Its cutting edge design creates an emerging effect where animals can be seen at floor level emerging from the depths of the river gorge. The exhibit brings a slice of Northern Territory Australia to life in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. It’s a place that fills our fantasy that is now in reality “an experience just waiting to happen”.
If you haven’t already, come and join us for a “walkabout” in a place of wild extremes!