Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Security Camera Catches Penguin Thief

Nipper, a male Gentoo penguin, is noted by Aquarium experts as Penguins' Rock's most enthusiastic nest builder. Sometimes, even before the nesting rocks are placed on exhibit each nesting season, he will begin "building" with ice cubes from feeding buckets.

Nipper with this year's nest
So Nipper wasted no time getting to work when this year's rocks were delivered by our penguin caretakers. While his neighbor Hercules (a male Gentoo) was distracted by interactions with Shamrock (a female Gentoo), Nipper was nabbing nesting rocks as his mate Flower watched his back.

Egg update: Since this was filmed, Nipper and Flower have laid an egg. The current total egg count stands at 6.* With more potential penguin parents still pairing up and building nests, the season is still off to great start!

*Keep in mind, each penguin egg has a long journey ahead of it. Lots of factors can impact the chances of hatching and newborn chicks face even more challenges. Again, keep your flippers crossed for a new group of healthy chicks later this summer!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Party on the River: Frequently Asked Questions During the Riverbend Festival

Photo via Chattanooga CVB

Is the Aquarium open during Riverbend? 

Yes! The Aquarium is open 363 days a year* with regular hours – 10 am to 7:30 pm. The last admittance to the Aquarium’s buildings is at 6 pm each day. There is no change in hours of operation during the Riverbend Festival. (*The Aquarium IS closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day each year.)

Where can I park to visit the Aquarium?

The Aquarium’s parking lot is open and can be accessed by turning left on Aquarium Way from Broad Street. (Then turn right into our gated lot, which is halfway between Broad Street and Chestnut Street.)

Do I need a Riverbend wristband to enter the Aquarium?

No. Only Aquarium tickets are needed to enter the Aquarium during Riverbend. You can get yours online, at the Aquarium’s ticketing center or the IMAX 3D Theater. Tickets are good for entry into both Aquarium buildings.

Is the Aquarium crowded during the week of Riverbend?

The week of Riverbend is a great time to visit the Aquarium. We do not typically experience a high volume of visitors during the morning and early afternoon. Since the festival gates don’t open until 5 pm each day, the earlier you arrive, the more time you will have to explore before festival-goers start arriving downtown.

Is there anything special happening at the Aquarium during Riverbend?

Yes. As part of the Bend Unplugged series, Playing on the Planet will perform between the Aquarium buildings on Saturday, June 7 from 2:30 to 3:30 pm. They will perform that night at Riverbend starting at 5:45 pm.

What if I am coming to Chattanooga to visit the Aquarium but am interested in checking out the Riverbend Festival while I’m there?

One-night wristbands are available at the Riverbend entry gates for $26. If you are in town for more than one night, weekly admission is also available. You can get more information on the festival website.