ZyNeatra's Puppets @ The Georgia Aquarium
The Georgia Aquarium, located in Atlanta, Georgia at Pemberton Place, is one of the world's largest aquarium with more than 8.1 million US gallons (31,000 m³) of marine and fresh water housing more than 100,000 animals of 500 different species. The aquarium's notable specimens include four young whale sharks, including Alice and Trixie, two beluga whales named Beethoven and Maris and two manta rays Nandi and Tallulah.
The Aquarium was built on a 20 acre (81,000 m²) site north of Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta.
Thousands of people all around the world come to the Georgia Aquarium everyday. The Georgia Aquarium contains between 100,000 and 120,000 fish and other sea creatures, representing more than five hundred species. On June 14, 2005, the total number of specimens was unveiled after having previously being reported as "over 55,000". Marcus was quoted in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as saying: "I have been saying that we would have more than 55,000 fish; I just never said how many more." The fish were transported from Taiwan to the aquarium by UPS in 42 tanks aboard an MD-11.
The aquarium's most famous specimens were four young whale sharks from Taiwan named Ralph, Norton, Alice and Trixie, after the primary characters from The Honeymooners. Ralph died from peritonitis on January 11, 2007, and Norton followed on June 13, 2007 when the aquarium made the decision to euthanize him after he had shown signs of erratic swimming and had stopped eating. Ralph and Norton were with the Georgia Aquarium at its opening; Alice and Trixie joined the aquarium June 3, 2006.
The Georgia Aquarium is the only institution outside of Asia to house whale sharks. The sharks are kept in a 6.3 million gallon (24,000 m³) tank, and the aquarium was actually designed around the whale shark exhibit. The importation of the whale sharks from Taiwan, which was overseen by Jeff Swanagan and staff biologists, was "top secret" and had never been attempted previously. The move required the use of large aircraft, trucks and boats to ship the massive aquatic animals to Atlanta. The four whale sharks were taken from Taiwan's annual fishing kill quota, which the country has since abolished. Under the quota, the whale sharks would have been killed and eaten if they had not been purchased by the Georgia Aquarium.
On May 25, 2007, Taiwan's Fisheries Agency announced the Aquarium had been approved to receive two more whale sharks before Taiwan bans the animals' capture in 2008. On June 1, 2007 the two new whale sharks arrived at the aquarium. The two sharks, caught earlier in 2007, are named Taroko, commemorating Taroko Gorge National Park, and Yushan after Taiwan's Jade Mountain.
The aquarium is currently one of only two aquariums in the United States to exhibit Great Hammerhead sharks; the other is the Adventure Aquarium. The aquarium has also been home to as many as five 11 foot (3 m) long beluga whales at once. Two males named Nico and Gasper were rescued from a Mexico City amusement park where they lived under a roller coaster. Prior to the opening of the aquarium, they were joined by three females on breeding loan from the New York Aquarium: Marina, Natasha, and her daughter, Maris. Because of insufficient weight, skin lesions, and a bone disease, on January 2, 2007, Gasper was euthanized. Marina died on December 1, 2007 of what may have been natural causes (she was 30 years old). Nico died unexpectedly on October 31, 2009 after being relocated to SeaWorld San Antonio temporarily with Natasha and Maris during an aquarium construction project. On March 2, 2010, Maris and a new male, Beethoven were returned to the Georgia Aquarium for the public to enjoy while Natasha was paired with a potential mate and remains in San Antonio. The aquarium is among six other US aquariums, including Chicago's Shedd Aquarium, with belugas in their collections.
The Georgia Aquarium is one of the best places in the world to visited.
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