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New Austin Aquarium offers interactive exhibits

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Following recent legal controversy and backlash from animal advocate groups, the new Austin Aquarium opened it's doors to Austin area residents in December 2013.

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What patrons can expect to experience is different than what many other aquariums offer across the nation. Although this facility features thousands of species including reptiles, warm and cold water fish, exotic birds, and more, Gift and Admissions Manager Alui Cleaver took the time to explain that the uniqueness of the Austin Aquarium stems from the interactive and educational element of each exhibit. Each touch, feel and feed exhibit is hosted by well trained and friendly husbandry staff, most holding marine biology or similar degrees. What truly shines here is the friendliness of the knowledgeable staff. The love, affection and respect of these animals is apparent and each is keen to make your experience a fun and enjoyable one.

Open 365 days a year, Austin Aquarium also offers an area designated for private events and birthday parties. For a small fee, you can delight in feeding the lorikeet birds (a personal favorite), stingrays and sharks. The facility itself is a 22,000 square foot and located on Hwy 183 on strip mall in NW Austin.

Most of the animals currently on exhibit didn't require the aquarium to obtain permits and the director, Shaun Monahan, had said that they are seeking accreditation from The Zoological Association of America. Austin Aquarium is a terrific location for schools and pre-schools to schedule field trips and they are currently offering a limited time 25% discount on all annual memberships and birthday parties.

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