Georgia Aquarium to be focus of new Animal Planet series “The Aquarium”

People look at a hammerhead shark while visiting the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, Georgia.

Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Originally posted Monday, February 11, 2019 by RODNEY HO/ on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Animal Planet has commissioned a series with the Georgia Aquarium documenting how the popular tourist attraction operates behind the scenes.

Called “The Aquarium,” the program is shooting now and will air later this year.

According to a press release, the show will focus “on the care given to thousands of aquatic animals, the bond between animals and the staff and the stories about the animals who call the 10 million gallons of water at the aquarium home, including rescued Southern sea otters, endangered African penguins, rescued California sea lions, whale sharks, and manta rays.”

It will follow the aquarium’s biologists, researchers and trainers and the challenges of keeping 70 miles of piping and hourly filtering of 10 million gallons of fresh and salt water operating smoothly.

The show will also fly to different parts of the world with the aquarium staff as they work to protect aquatic species from South Africa to the South Atlantic.

"We are so proud to be a part of this series and cannot wait to show all of the hard work and dedication that goes not only into caring for thousands of animals, but also the animals in the ocean that desperately need our help." said Jessica Fontana, director of communications at Georgia Aquarium.

The aquarium opened in 2005 with major funding coming from Home Depot founder Bernie Marcus. It brought in a record 2.5 million visitors in 2018.

The operation has not been without controversy, especially its efforts to import beluga whales in its early years, which drew the ire of animal rights groups. In 2016, the aquarium said it would no longer take in whales and dolphins from the wild.

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