The Animal Care and Rescue Center, which officially opened in May 2018, serves as home to off-exhibit animals and animals new to the Aquarium that require quarantine before joining an exhibit, as well as part of our rescue operations.
Members of our Animal Husbandry and Animal Care and Welfare staff have stayed busy over the past few months getting a multitude of different species adjusted at the Center.
One of the most unique residents of the Center is a South American freshwater stingray confiscated last year at Dulles International Airport by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Recently, staff performed a full diagnostic work-up on the stingray, where they found he is in great health. After the stingray grows a bit more, he’ll be ready to move into the Amazon River Forest exhibit.
Two large lungfish and a Gulf saratoga from our Australia: Wild Extremes are also spending time off-exhibit at the Center.
And, of course, the Center is not without its reptiles! Two caimans, which were on exhibit in years past, are being cared for at our state-of-the-art facility. Staff continuously work to fine-tune their diets, while also conducting behavior training to prepare them for a possible return to the Amazon River Forest.
More than a dozen Australian turtles, including a pig-nosed turtle nicknamed Funzo, also reside at the Center. A few South American turtles that were hatched within the last couple years at the Aquarium’s main building can also be found at the Center, where they are using the extra space and attention to grow before heading on exhibit.
Two bearded dragon residents are also almost cleared for their time to shine with our Animal Programs team!
As previously mentioned, our female zebra shark, nicknamed Zoe, is spending time at the Center as she recovers from a short period of illness.
Learn more about the National Aquarium’s Animal Care and Rescue Center!