2013 Recap: The Making of Blacktip Reef

This year, many of us here at the Aquarium had one thing on our brains: Blacktip Reef.

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From demolition to animal acquisitions, construction to animal introductions, countless hours of work from all of our departments went into the creation of this $12.5 million dollar exhibit!

As 2013 comes to a close, we'd like to take a moment to look back at how Blacktip Reef was made:

Animal Transports

Before construction could begin on our new exhibit, the animals in our old Wings in the Water exhibit had to be safely removed!

Many of the animals that called Wings in the Water home, like our zebra sharks (Zeke and Zoe) and green sea turtle (Calypso) were moved behind the scenes, where they could patiently await the creation of their new home. Others were moved to other exhibits at the Aquarium or to other accredited institutions.

Construction

After all the animals had been safely removed from the exhibit space and the necessary demolition was finished, the construction phase could begin!

Blacktip Reef's construction process included the installation of a 28-foot acrylic window and the individual placement of over 3,000 coral pieces, creating the perfect recreation of an Indo-Pacific reef habitat.

Animal Introductions

The process of introducing animals into the exhibit began in early July, with the transport of Calypso!

After Calypso and a few hundred fish had acclimated well to their new home, all 20 of our blacktip reef sharks were added to the exhibit.

In October, our last animals were introduced into the exhibit! Over the period of two weeks, we added three wobbegong sharks and a huge Napoleon wrasse!

It has been an incredibly busy and rewarding year. From all of us here at the Aquarium, we'd like to sincerely thank everyone for their continued support!

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