Green sea turtle Pluto was equipped with a satellite tag and released on June 20th, after being rehabilitated at the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island. No tracking data was recorded for weeks, and we worried that the tag had malfunctioned. A few days ago, the tag began emitting a signal! Pluto is currently swimming in the Pamlico Sound, north of Cedar Island. Follow the link to see where else Pluto travels!
It is with sadness we bring you this message from Brian Dorn, Director of Operations and Husbandry at the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island. Bert, our resident male river otter, passed away this afternoon at the Aquarium. He lived a long happy life, being enriched daily by our visitors and especially by our husbandry staff. He helped visitors appreciate what river otters truly are and also inspired them to want to conserve the environment river otters inhabit. Bert holds a special place in our hearts and has given us all so many great memories. He will truly be missed.
In a profusion of horns, claws, feathers, fur, spots, stripes and colors, the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island unveiled a new exhibit in the Nautilus Gallery July 9. “Wild at Art” celebrates the incredible diversity of animal life with 30 original works by 22 members of the Raleigh-Durham chapter of the Colored Pencil Society of America (CPSA). Each painting is accompanied by interesting facts or conservation information about the animal it portrays. The exhibit will remain on view through September.
The Nautilus Gallery, across from the Aquarium gift shop, focuses on marine and wildlife art. Realizing the ability of art to help us understand and appreciate nature, aquariums and zoos have long used artistic renderings of animals to make important points memorable and to reinforce the special connection between people and animals. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums, a nonprofit professional organization dedicated to education, conservation, science and institutional accreditation, recognizes the power of art to encourage respect for the natural world.
“This exhibit impresses me with the diversity of artists’ styles, all springing from this deceptively simple medium – the colored pencil,” said Maylon White, director of the Aquarium on Roanoke Island. “Each piece is worthy of lengthy study and contemplation.”
Colored pencils have become a popular medium worldwide, well suited to capturing the beauty of nature. Their depth and intensity of color, ability to render fine detail and their durability make them suited to a wide range of subjects and techniques, from quick field sketches to scientific illustrations and formal portraits. Because colored pencils are semi-transparent, artists can create luminous, vibrant effects by layering and burnishing. And, because colored pencils are compatible with watercolor, acrylic, ink and graphite, they lend themselves to multimedia compositions.
The CPSA, founded in 1990, has 27 chapters and a total membership of more than 2,000. Although the Raleigh-Durham chapter is located in the Triangle, it has nationally and internationally recognized members throughout North Carolina. The chapter holds workshops and a weekly open studio, sponsors exhibitions and promotes the use of colored pencils for all art.
The Aquarium on Roanoke Island, adjacent to the Manteo Regional Airport, is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily except Thanksgiving and Christmas. Admission: ages 3–12, $8.95; ages 13–61, $10.95; ages 62 +, $9.95. Children 2 and under and North Carolina Aquarium Society members are admitted free of charge.
For more information about Wild at Art or the Aquarium’s many other exhibits and programs, visit www.ncaquariums.com or call 252-473-3494 or 1-800-332-3475 extension 4. For more information about the Colored Pencil Society of America, visit www.CPSA.org and the Raleigh-Durham Chapter Web site at www.cpsadc114.org
Photo: “Toucans Ablaze,” colored pencil illustration by Jacqueline Balog.
The Aquarium was proud to hold the grand opening of the Sea Turtle Assistance and Rehabilitation (STAR) Center on June 27. Aquarium Director Maylon White and NC Aquariums Division Director David Griffin spoke during the opening ceremony, along with Virginia Tillet, Dare County commissioner, and Karen Fitzgerald, president of the Network for Endangered Sea Turtles (NEST). As you can see from the photo, there was also assistance from a special guest sea turtle at the ribbon cutting.
Aquarium staff and NEST volunteers were on hand to greet the first visitors to the center and tell the stories of the sea turtles now being cared for. This video by Douglas Kenyon with Outer Banks Visions and Max Media NC summarizes the STAR Center opening at the Aquarium on Roanoke Island.
When sea turtles are found stranded, in distress or in need of help, like this loggerhead off the Avalon Pier, they are brought to the STAR Center to be treated and rehabilitated before eventually being returned to the sea.
The NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island released six juvenile green sea turtles on June 20. The turtles had been treated for cold-stunning last winter and were now ready to be returned to the sea. One turtle was equipped with a satellite tag to track its movements after its release. Information collected by the tag is accessible online so people can see where and how far the turtle travels. A celebrative audience joined the Aquarium staff on a Frisco beach for the release of the turtles.
How often do you get the chance to take a selfie with a dinosaur? Well, this summer at the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island, you can fulfill that dream! Our dinosaur exhibit, Tyrannosaurus Trek, has 10 dinos you can pick from to take a Jurassic selfie. Post your shot on Instagram using the tags #trextrek and #dinoselfie and the best will be picked for a fan photo contest on Facebook. The winner will receive a dino-tastic prize. You can also follow us on Instagram @ncaquariumri to keep up with all the fun activities and daily events happening at the Aquarium this summer!
Dinosaurs for the Aquarium’s new and exciting Tyrannosaurus Trek exhibit were delivered May 6. An excited staff assisted with unloading and placing the dinosaurs along the nature trail. Standard Aquarium admission provides visitors with dramatic views and sounds of these ancient creatures – 10 in all, including stegosaurus and tyrannosaurus rex – from May 24 through Sept. 1. Visit our Facebook page for updates and information about the May 24 grand opening.
Just in time for a busy, fun-filled summer, the NC Aquarium is offering a new Business Membership program that’s great for small business owners, their employees and customers. Starting at $300 per year, Business Members receive premium membership benefits, free admission tickets, discounts for their employees, recognition at the Aquarium, and more.
This program is just one part of the Aquarium’s new Living Treasures campaign, designed to expand community partnerships and grow private support. In addition to Business Memberships, the campaign offers donors a variety of options—including a new annual fund, sponsorship opportunities and planned giving. Proceeds from the campaign will help the Aquarium prosper by funding new animals, exhibits, programs and conservation priorities.
For almost thirty years, the private, nonprofit NC Aquarium Society has worked alongside the NC Aquariums to help fund major renovations and new exhibits at all four Aquarium locations—Roanoke Island, Jennette’s Pier, Fort Fisher and Pine Knoll Shores. Today, they’re highly-rated and popular attractions, with a combined annual visitation of 1.5 million.
Memberships are now available online at www.ncaquariums.com/membership. There you can also read about the Aquarium Society’s top ranking by Charity Navigator, the nation’s largest evaluator of nonprofits. In 2013, the Society was rated the #1 zoo and aquarium nonprofit in the nation.
Join online at www.ncaquariums.com/membership.
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Augie, a juvenile green sea turtle, was found stranded in July 2013 with an open fracture in the right front flipper. Augie’s flipper needed help healing, so Austin Isaacs and Kathryn McCullough, students in the Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering at NC State University, designed this splint for him. Kathryn designed the model of Augie’s flipper, and Austin developed the splint around this example. After using the splint for 40 days, Augie’s flipper was stable enough to continue healing on its own. Austin and Kathryn recently visited our husbandry curator Christian Legner and were very excited to meet Augie and speak with Christian about the whole experience. This medical procedure was the first of its kind.