In the Coldwater Quest exhibit, guest get a glimpse at the aquariums resident Beluga whales: Maris, Beethoven, Grayson, and Qiun. Playing along in the same exhibit, harbor seals dart around in the water. You will also find African penguins and otters as you travel through the Coldwater Quest, which was closed in 2009 and then reopened in 2010 after a full renovation.
Sometime in 2011, the Georgia Aquarium will open a brand new $110 million Dolphin exhibit.Report. It will be the largest expansion to the aquarium since it opened its doors. The new exhibit was scheduled to open in late 2010, but the dolphins were not 100% ready for show, so the date was pushed back. “Some of our animals have come in a little later than expected due to permits, so we started our heavy training more than two months later than we expected,” said David Kimmel, president and chief operating officer of Georgia Aquarium. “We had to go through acclimation periods, and it’s taking them a little longer to learn their behaviors.” Guest will have to pay an additional fee to see the new dolphin show, although what the price will be has not been released.
The facility sounds amazing, if you like that sort of thing. I will admit that our family went to the Georgia Aquarium in the spring of 2008 while visiting a friend. I was amazed by the Ocean Explorer exhibit. The site of those whale sharks in person, their size, the way they and the Manta Rays glide through the water, such grace. It was an amazing site. But we, as a family, were not thinking. We did not know the truth behind these fish, and the Beluga's that were being held in this facility. But now, we do, and we want to share a history timeline and information about the animals housed at the Georgia Aquarium.
October 17 2005
The Georgia Aquarium receives two Beluga whales, Gasper and Nico from Mexico.
* Gasper (captured in 1997) and Nico (in 1996), both males, were both captured in the White Sea of Russia and were sent to Mexico. Both Beluga's were housed under poor conditions while in Mexico. Gasper NOAA ID is NOAOOO6291 Nico's is NOA0006292 Report
November 6 2005~
The Georgia Aquarium receives three Beluga whales, Maris, Natasha, and Marina from the New York Aquarium (NYA).
* Maris, a male, was born 7/28/1994 at the NYA. His mother is Natasha and Father is Winston. On 12/18/2002 he was transferred to Mystic Aquarium from NYA, and then transferred back to NYA on 5/26/04. His NOAA ID is NOA0005587
*Natasha, a female and mother of Maris, was captured on 7/16/1984 from Manitoba Canada.
She arrived at NYA on 7/22/1984. She, like her son, was transferred to Mystic and then back.
Her NOAA ID is NOA0000748
*Marina, a female, was captured from Manitoba Canada on 7/25/1987. She arrived at NYA 8/2/1987. There is no record that shows were Marina was kept before going to NYA, nor if she was transferred along with Natasha and Maris to Mystic. NOAA ID is NOA0000764
November 23 2005~
Georgia Aquarium opens its doors.
January 2 2007~
Gasper the beluga whale dies. Cause of death is listed as Osteomyelatis, infection of the bone.
January 12 2007~
Georgia Aquarium gets two new whale sharks from Taiwan.
June 13 2007~
Norton the whale shark dies. Report
He was euthanized after months of strange behavior and illness. Report
December 1 2007~
Marina the beluga whale dies. Report
October 4 2009~
Maris, Natasha, and Nico are transferred to Seaworld Texas while their exhibit is renovated.
October 31 2009~
Nico the beluga whale dies at Seaworld, weeks after his transfer.
February 22 1010~
The Georgia Aquarium welcomes Maris back from Seaworld Texas, along with friend Beethoven.
*Beethoven, a male, was born at SWT on 8/8/1992. His mother is Bandit and father is Ike.
On 4/20/1997 he was transferred to Seaworld San Diego. On 11/21/1998 he was transferred
to Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma. On 6/1/2009 he was sent back to SWT.
Can not find his NOAA ID.
*Natasha was left at SWT. She had been with her son Maris all his life, they are now 100's of miles apart.
June 6 2010~
The Georgia Aquarium receives its first dolphins in for its new exhibit.
Niele, Shaka, Makana and Kei, are transferred in from Dolphin Quest Hawaii (DQH).
*Niele, a male, was born 6/30/1994 at Dolphin Discovery. He is transferred to DQH on
10/1/2003. NOAA ID is NOA0000419 Parents unknown
*Shaka, a female, was captured 8/20/1988. NOAA ID is NOA0003745
* Makana, a male, was born 11/9/2003 at DQH. Mother is Pele and father is Lona. NOAA
ID is NOA0006246.
*Kei, a male, was born at DQH on 10/18/2003. Mother is Kona and father is Lona
NOAA ID is NOA0006245
July 6 2010~
The Georgia Aquarium welcomes Phebe the dolphin, transferred from Marineland Fl.
*Phebe, a female, was born at Marineland Fl on 5/5/2002. Her mother is Betty and father
is Chubby. NOAA ID is NOA0006017
July 25 2010~
Bermuidiana, Luna, and Lily (dolphins) arrive from Dolphin Quest Bermuda (DQB)
*Bermuidiana, was born at DQB on 7/6/2007. Mother is Calibon Father is Stien
NOAA ID is NOA0006406
*Luna, a female, was born at DQB on 5/23/2007 Mother is Cirrus Father is Stien
NOAA ID is NOA0006405
*Lily, a female, was born 4/9/2004 at DQB. Mother is Cirrus Father Khybu
NOAA ID id NA0006429
July 31 2010~
Briland and Salvador arrive at Georgia Aquarium from Dolphin Experience.
*Briland was born at DE 5/17/2003
*Salvador, a male, was born at DE on 9/28/2004 Mother is Robala Father is Unknown
November 20 2010~
Quin and Grayson come to Georgia Aquarium from SWT.
*Quin, a female, was born at SWT on 7/31/2008 Mother Sikku Father Nanuq
*Grayson, a male, was born at SWT on 6/26/2007 Mother Martina Father Nanuq
This is of course, just a timeline and information on the "big" animals of the Georgia Aquarium. It by no means includes all the deaths that have happened there. The problem is, unless people witness these deaths, they are swept under the rug, and hidden from the public. For an example...
Imagine being in the amazing 100 foot long underwater tunnel at the aquarium. The tunnel is filled with many different guest, including children an this happens....
Yep you are seeing it. A hammerhead shark decided it was hungry and took a chunk out of a stingray!
Listen to the terror, screams, and crying from the poor kids watching. The poor stingray falls to the bottom of the tank and bleeds to death, as the sharks circle over head in a blood frenzy and the people look on, some in terror, others in shock.
Just how many animals have died at the Georgia Aquarium is unclear. However, questions to why some of the animals have died, have gone unanswered. How many Beluga whales will die? How many more whale sharks will die? When will the dolphins start dying, and will pneumonia be the cause (as per norm)? With already having 3 belugas die in just 5 years, The Georgia Aquarium is in line with other facilities death rates. I am surprised they have not lost a dolphin yet, since many seem to die of pneumonia after transport, especially long distances. How many animals will have to die for the sake of human enjoyment? When will we wake up and see just how wrong this is?
In recent news AT&T has been named as the official sponsor of the new Dolphin show at the Georgia Aquarium. As a result many activist have called for a boycott and letter writing campaign against AT&T. Companies that support these facilities are contributing to animals being held in captivity, forced to preform, and not being allowed to live out a normal life, most facing early deaths.
We encourage everyone to take a stand against the Georgia Aquarium. Do not buy tickets to this facility. Write, call, fax, or e-mail them about your concerns. We also ask you to stand up to AT&T. Let them know that supporting a dolphin show is inhumane and morally wrong. Tell them that if they support these kinds of activities, you will no longer be able to support them. Remember, if we all stand together, we can achieve anything!
225 Baker Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30313
SIDE NOTE: In doing my research, I noticed that many of the parents of the dolphins, now housed at the Georgia Aquarium, were captured from the wild. Most of these had been transferred from the US Navy. Now, I know that the US Navy received wild dolphins from many places, but I wonder if any of these wild dolphins are connected to Moby Solangi...Just a thought)