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Popular Newport Aquarium in Kentucky turns 15

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 19, 2014 at 8:12 am •  Published: May 19, 2014
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At the end of the aquarium's winding trail of exhibits is the popular penguin attraction, home to dozens of cold weather penguins. Gibula said they are the aquarium's high-maintenance residents, needing constant 40-degree temperatures, hospital-grade air filtration and mountains of food.

"We have to get snow, they actually drink the snow," Gibula said. "They like to let it melt in their mouths. That's how they get their water. And they go to the bathroom every 20 minutes."

Anaiah Jalloh, 9, was on his first trip to the aquarium in late March, shortly after the opening of Turtle Canyon. He was in the underwater tunnels, watching rare shark rays swim up one side of the half-cylinder shaped tunnel and down the other side.

"It's really neat to see them close," said Anaiah, who came to the aquarium from Columbus, Ohio, with his dad. The fourth-grader dreams of becoming a marine biologist.

Nearby, another young boy has his back to the tunnel glass, trying to take a selfie with a shark ray.

The aquarium is a big draw to the Cincinnati area, despite its location across the river in Kentucky, said Linda Antus, president of Cincinnati USA Regional Tourism. Antus said it is annually among the top draws alongside the Cincinnati Zoo and Reds baseball games.

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If You Go...

NEWPORT AQUARIUM: One Aquarium Way, Newport, Ky., http://www.newportaquarium.com/ or 800-406-3474. Open daily 10 a.m.-6 p.m. with extended summer hours 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Adults, $23; children 2-12, $15; children under 2 free.