Visit Amazing Sea Creatures At the Georgia Aquarium
Ten gallons of water and more than 100 animal habitats maintained in an indoor facility – this is the Georgia Aquarium.
Lindsey Ford, public relations coordinator for the Aquarium, said around 99.5% of the exhibit water is recycled thanks to the hard work of the Life Support System team. The Georgia Aquarium takes great pride in maintaining their quality of water to house thousands of aquatic animals – big and small.
“Georgia Aquarium is the largest aquarium in the western hemisphere and the only aquarium in the western hemisphere to house whale sharks and manta rays,” Ford said.
The four whale sharks alone consume over 50,000 pounds of food every year. With a beautiful view for visitors, the animals swim, play, and relax in vast aquatic spaces. In one area of the aquarium called the Ocean Voyager, visitors can walk through a 100-foot, glass tunnel with a surrounding view of beautiful fish and sharks.
“Georgia Aquarium allows guests the opportunity to see animals up close that they may otherwise not have the opportunity to see,” Ford said. “Georgia Aquarium helps to conserve endangered species and gives guests a unique opportunity to learn about these animals.”
About 2.5 million people visited in 2018. The Georgia Aquarium offers the only opportunity in the world where you are guaranteed to swim or dive with whale sharks and manta rays through the “Journey with Gentle Giants” program. Furthermore, grouped visitors can spend the night at the aquarium via the sleepover program.
There are also programs for teachers, parents, and community volunteers. The Georgia Aquarium currently has over 1,300 volunteers working behind the scenes to give guests an awesome experience and to care of the animals.
Marine animal health is important, and each species requires specific attention and care to thrive. “We have a state-of-the-art animal health and research facility, Correll Center for Aquatic Animal Health, that allows our veterinarian team to provide full physical examinations and preventative medical assessments,” Ford said. “It is important for us to provide preventative healthcare to maintain the health of our animals.”
New animals must be introduced to the environment carefully. Recently, the Georgia Aquarium rescued two sea otter pups, a female named Mara and a male named Gibson, that were found stranded near the California coastline. To protect these pups, veterinarians, volunteers, and other team members take close care of them in a behind-the-scenes area while they acclimate to their new home.
One of the most amazing experiences guests can have is the Waddle Walk, a walk for the African penguins that allows guests to see a close-up, personal view of this endangered species while they learn interesting facts and ways in which the aquarium aims to preserve their kind.
The Waddle Walk gives penguins an important form of enrichment. They are curious creatures, so it is beneficial for them to come out onto the main floor and see visitors. While the Waddle Walk only occurs once a day (usually between 10-11 a.m.), you can see them anytime on the website’s live webcam.
You can see many of the aquarium’s animals via a live webcam, including the sea otters and sea lions. This footage is available at all times by visiting the site and exploring numerous webcam options.
To reach even further into the community, the Georgia Aquarium is also a venue for special events, such as birthday parties and weddings. The Cafe Aquaria and Seaside Delights cafeteria inside offers an easy self-serve meal.
While the summer is the aquarium’s busiest season, the doors are open 365 days a year. Conveniently located in downtown Atlanta, the aquarium is one of many fun things to do in the area. Visitors are encouraged to check the aquarium’s website for specific information about events, amenities, and other frequently asked questions prior to their visit.
For example, there are many helpful tips on the Visitor Information tab of the website including options for guests with mental and physical challenges.