Thursday, June 28, 2012

Don't Sweat The Heat, The Aquarium Is One Cool Place

If penguins perused the paper, they might become perturbed by the piping hot prognostication. Fortunately, our gentoos and macaronis don't get their feathers ruffled by feverish forecasts. They're able to calmly kick back in their cool surroundings at the Tennessee Aquarium
Shivers, seen above, seems to take it all in stride staying comfortable inside the 42 degree air inside Penguins Rock.
 Penguin keepers, like Amy Graves have to bundle up while caring for all of the birds - especially the baby penguins. "I get some strange looks when it's 100 degrees outside and I cross the Aquarium Plaza bundled up in a sweatshirt," said Graves.
 Lengthy periods of time inside the exhibit is one thing. Heading into the deep-freeze to get penguin food is another. It's like being at the South Pole in the Ocean Journey freezer. The food is stored at 0 degrees to ensure it remains restaurant grade for penguins and other creatures. "We try not to stay in there very long," said Graves. "Especially if I have to head upstairs after thawing fish for the penguins."
'Heading upstairs' means going from Antarctica to the Equator. Graves and aviculturist Loribeth Aldrich (seen above) also care for the hyacinth macawsThey enjoy cooling off with a shower.

So it's not unusual for keepers to start in 42 degree "weather," head into the freezer and then up to the Tropical Cove where it's around 82 degrees. "We wear many layers to remain comfortable throughout the day," said Aldrich.

So if you're tormented by tepid temperatures, take time to chill out in Chattanooga. Aquarium guests can stay cool by heading "Pole to Pole" throughout the summer. They can enjoy the sub-Antarctic antics of the penguins at the Aquarium, and then follow a mother polar bear and her cubs at the IMAX 3D Theater. "To The Arctic 3D" shows this family traveling through snowy  and scenic landscapes near the North Pole.

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