Juvenile Animals at the Texas State Aquarium Highlight Sustainability Program
CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS – Juvenile freshwater and marine animals including clownfish, cuttlefish, sharks, moon jellies, and alligators can now be viewed at the Texas State Aquarium. These animals are the latest living symbols of the Aquarium’s highly-successful sustainability program.
Through its sustainability program, the Aquarium’s skilled Animal Care Staff permit certain animals to breed and give birth at the Aquarium and then manage the resulting offspring during their earliest life phases. Many young animals are also brought to the Aquarium from partnering zoos and aquariums which utilize their own sustainability programs. Through facilitating the birth of animals in zoos and aquariums and exchanging animals with other facilities, the Texas State Aquarium and other members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums can sustain their animal collections while reducing their need to collect species from their natural environment.
Among the first baby animals guests may see at the Aquarium are eight baby alligators in the Nearshore exhibit. These alligators were brought from the Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge in Louisiana and will be cared for at the Aquarium as they grow and develop skills like feeding and swimming. Once they have grown larger, Aquarium staff will release them back into their natural environment at the Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge.
Approximately 30 young ocellaris clownfish and baby white-spotted bamboo sharks can be found in the Saving Sharks exhibit. The clownfish arrived from the Adventure Aquarium in March and are about 8 months old. The baby white-spotted bamboo sharks were born at the Aquarium in September.
Continuing on to the Aquatic Nursery, guests can see how aquarists hatch and raise white-spotted bamboo sharks and moon jellies during their earliest years of life. Three recently-hatched juvenile white-spotted bamboo sharks, several shark egg casings, juvenile brine shrimp, and cuttlefish eggs can also be seen here. Upside-down jellies, a new species featured in Caribbean Journey, are also being bred in the Aquatic Nursery.
In Tentacles, dwarf cuttlefish approximately one year old are on display. These tiny cephalopods arrived from the Monterey Bay Aquarium in September.
In Caribbean Journey, juvenile sandbar sharks, just over two feet long, are being cared for behind-the-scenes. These baby sharks were born from adult sharks which arrived at the Aquarium in April 2017. They are currently housed in an environment separate from the other residents of H-E-B Caribbean Sea and will be gradually introduced to the exhibit once they’ve grown and had time to adapt to their new home.
Guests can view the juvenile sandbar sharks during the Exclusive Encounter “Feed the Fish, or they can visit the Aquarium every day to see these animals and learn more about how staff delivers high-quality care to its juvenile wildlife collection. To register for an Exclusive Encounter, go to https://www.texasstateaquarium.org/explore/exclusive-encounters/.