Posts Tagged 'animal encounters'

Join Us for Deaf Awareness Day at the Aquarium on Saturday!

Deaf Awareness Day

Saturday, March 9 is Deaf Awareness Day at the National Aquarium in Baltimore! We’re celebrating with American Sign Language interpreters who will be narrating all public presentations including dolphin talks, animal feedings/encounters and dives in our Atlantic Coral Reef exhibit. During our “Diver Interpretation,” a scuba diver will sign underwater and an interpreter will translate for our hearing visitors.

In addition to Aquarium programming, representatives from deaf advocacy groups will be available to meet with visitors and discuss their activities in the community and how families can get involved!

deaf awareness day

Volunteer interpreters will be stationed throughout the building to help answer questions and greet every visitor with a “welcome” sign! This year’s celebration is sure to be a fun and informative day of events embracing our deaf community.

And remember to mark your calendars for our next Deaf Awareness Day! We will be celebrating on September 28 during National Deaf Awareness Week!

To receive discounted admission on Deaf Awareness Day, please contact Special Customer Liaison Jennifer Hamilton:; 410-659-4291 (voice); 410-727-3022 (TTY).


Happy Birthday Sugar!

The National Aquarium is celebrating a very special birthday today: Sugar, our umbrella cockatoo, is turning 15!

umbrella cockatoo

Sugar’s favorite enrichment activity is tearing up shredded newspaper. He also loves sharpening his beak on wood blocks!

umbrella cockatoo

Don’t forget Sugar’s favorite treats – peanuts and coconut!

umbrella cockatoo

Yum yum yum!

When Sugar gets excited (often by the sight of peanuts or coconut!) he raises his crest of feathers to communicate that to our staff and guests!

umbrella cockatoo

Sugar is one the animals you can see at our daily Animal Encounters and you can often see him in the Overlook!

animal encounter

Sugar LOVES to play in and with tubes!

umbrella cockatoo

Cardboard, PVC pipe, you name it – Basically, he loves anything he can look through!

umbrella cockatoo

Anyone in there?

Stop by National Aquarium, Baltimore today and you might see Sugar during one of our Animal Encounters! 

Animal Updates – May 4

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

Making Connections!
Beginning today, guests to the National Aquarium will find several exciting and innovative changes to enhance their experience and provide them with opportunities to view and interact with our animals and animal experts in different ways.

A highlight of the changes includes a redesigned dolphin program. Our previous format of timed, limited-access and separately priced shows have been replaced with an exciting program that offers ALL of our guests all-day access to the dolphins and experts, including elements like training, playtime and feeding in the newly renovated Dolphin Discovery. As of today, guests will be able to spend as much time as they’d like watching and learning about the dolphins. At regular intervals throughout the day, our expert trainers and staff will be leading interactive sessions that will give our guests a glimpse into the life of our dolphins like never before. These sessions will run for approximately 15–20 minutes and will cover topics like adaptations, training, play and enrichment, communication and more.

Dolphin husbandry and animal care are just two of the many things you can now learn about in our daily Dolphin Discovery interactions!

We’re also increasing our staff-led interactions to more than 40 per day – which is more than three times what we’ve done in the past! These interactions include keeper talks, dives and feedings, live animal encounters and other enrichment activities.

Join us for more than 40 encounters every day including feedings, live animal encounters, enrichment sessions, keeper talks & more!

How will you find these new encounters, you ask? With your new handy-dandy map guide and schedule of course! When you arrive at the Aquarium, be sure to pick up one of our new collectible maps. It will not only help you find your way around, but also provides you with the daily schedule of encounters, feedings, etc.

We’re thrilled to be making some big changes this year at the Aquarium, starting with this new programming that will give our guests more opportunities to make connections with our animals and experts!

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

Hallowings and things…

In honor of Halloween, the animal encounters at the National Aquarium have been a bit spooky this week!  We have been introducing some of our slithery, slimy, creepy, crawly animals from the rainforest, and teaching visitors that these animals aren’t as scary as we may think..

One of the encounters includes tarantulas. Scared yet? Don’t be. Though these venomous crawlers are generally thought of as a danger to humans, they do not pose the slightest threat. Tarantulas have venom with the potency comparable to a bee, so their venom is generally not toxic to humans. 

What’s the slimiest creature you can think of? A snake? This preconceived notion about snakes is false! These reptiles are not slimy at all; in fact, they are covered with scales. Snakes have small scales on the top of their body and large scales on the bottom. The large scales, called scutes, help them move their legless bodies. The coloration of their scales helps snakes camouflage themselves in various surroundings. They can blend in with leaves, shadows and even rocks! 

What has six legs and teeth in their stomachs? Give up? Cockroaches! These fascinating creatures have existed for about 300 million years and were found even before dinosaurs! Even though we see them as pests, cockroaches actually do a lot for the earth. In the rainforest at the Aquarium they help spread nutrients from trees to the soil.

cockroach for blog

snake for blog







You can find out more about these animals and others at the Hallowings and Things encounters everyday at 10:30 a.m. through November 6th! 

We are also running a special special halloween contest on facebook through Monday. Click here to enter the Hallo-Marine AquaFaces contest! Build your creepiest AquaFace for a chance to win tickets to the National Aquarium’s Baltimore venue.

Happy Halloween!

Healing Houdini, the bearded dragon

There’s no such thing as a “typical day” for the Aquarium’s veterinary staff. With bearded dragon 021dolphins that can weigh up to 500 pounds to frogs that weigh as much as a paper clip, our vets face different challenges every day. Some procedures require special skills, which is when the Aquarium turns to outside experts.

Last week, the Aquarium medical team faced a special challenge: “Houdini” is a four year old bearded dragon that is part of our animal programs team. If you’ve been at the Aquarium for one of our daily Animal Encounters in the Overlook, you may have met her!

In April, Houdini became very ill with fluid building up in her body and under her skin. Through weeks of intensive medical management, vets were able to get her back to normal behavior and appetite, but still weren’t able to determine the underlying cause. The diagnostic options were an exploratory surgery or endoscopy – both invasive- or advanced imaging of the soft tissues using a non-invasive MRI. An MRI would let vets look at Houdini’s ovaries, liver, kidneys and other organs without requiring surgery – the best option.

Continue reading ‘Healing Houdini, the bearded dragon’

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