Animal Updates - May 11

Published May 11, 2012

Between our Baltimore and Washington, DC, venues, more than 17,500 animals representing 900 species call the National Aquarium home. There are constant changes, additions, and more going on behind the scenes that our guests may not notice during their visit. We want to share these fun updates with our community so we're bringing them to you in our weekly Animal Update posts!

Check our WATERblog every Friday to find out what's going on... here's what's new this week!

New baby Alligators

We've added four new young American Alligators to our Florida Everglades exhibit!

Our alligators are target trained for feedings. Typically, we have two alligators that are trained to respond to a yellow target and two that are trained to respond to a red target. When they touch the appropriate target they get a food reward. This makes feeding a lot safer for the animal care staff as well as for the alligators, and also ensures that each animal is getting the right amount of food.

Watch this short video to learn more about target training!

The American alligator was once nearly extinct. In the 1970s, strict hunting regulations were put in place to protect the remaining alligators, and they are no longer endangered. As it is our mission to inspire conservation of the world's aquatic treasures, we are excited to have these alligators on exhibit to help educate our guests.

Be sure to check back every Friday to find out what’s happening!
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