She’s an African penguin, likes tropical weather and was named after American Idol’s Paula Abdul. Newport Aqarium’s Ric Urban introduces us to Paula the penguin!
Q: Can you tell us about this penguin you brought today? What’s her name? How is she comfortable in here?
A: This is Paula, the African penguin. She’s an ambassador animal for her species and for Newport Aquarium. She’s one of eight African penguins at Newport Aquarium.
Q: How many different types of penguins do you have at Newport Aquarium?
A: We have 6 species of penguins. 5 species of cold-weather penguins, and the African penguins.
Q: Can you tell us about the Animal Ambassador program? How is this penguin an ambassador for its species? Is it true African penguins could become extinct?
A: When you visit Newport Aquarium, you can add on a Penguin Encounter. You’re invited to visit The Penguin House, the backstage home of our African penguins. Get up close and personal for this exclusive 20-minute encounter with these adorable birds. African penguins are endangered. The Newport Aquarium is playing an integral part of conservation and helping this species survive. I was appointed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) to be the Program Coordinator for the AZA SAFE African Penguin Individual Identification Project – to identify
Q: Let’s talk about one-tank trip? Spring Break is coming up, what else can guests experience at Newport Aquarium?
A: We have Shark Bridge – a 75-feet long V-shaped rope bridge that’s suspended over the open water of the 385,000 gallon Surrounded by Sharks exhibit. Another favorite is Mighty Mike, the 14-foot long American alligator, he’s the largest alligator outside of Florida. And, of course, Seahorses: Unbridled Fun.
Newport Aquarium is making some big waves! We’re in the running again this year for USA Today’s Top 10 Best Aquariums in the country. We’ve been nominated into the Top 20 by a panel of experts in zoos and family travel, and now it’s up to fan votes to help us regain the #1 spot once again. And we need your help! There are only 21 days left for fans to cast their votes! Each person can vote once per day until noon on Monday, March 27, at this link: http://www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-aquarium-2017/newport-aquarium-newport-ky/share/ . The winners will be announced on Friday, March 31.