OUR MISSION

Our mission is to provide a top quality, world class aquatic life facility that will foster environmental education, conservation, and research, while simultaneously providing entertainment for visitors of all ages.

CONSERVATION & EDUCATION

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is designed to educate and motivate individuals into taking positive actions whether at home or in our local communities.

Ripley’s Aquariums in the US are leaders in their local communities, setting and raising the bar for animal husbandry, exhibits, and educational programs.

ENGAGED & COMMITTED

Our aquarium staff participate in environmental clean-ups in our local communities whether at the beach or in the mountains. Beach sweeps, river rummages and adopted scenic highway clean-ups of litter and other trash are regularly scheduled events with uniformed staff that help also to create public awareness.

Aquarium staff is also involved in conservation education within our communities by organizing local public events for national campaigns such as Party for the Planet / Earth Day, Shark Week, and Year of the Frog.

ACCREDITATION STANDARDS

AZA

Both of the Ripley’s Aquariums located in the United States are fully accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The Accreditation Commission evaluates every zoo or aquarium to make sure it meets AZA’s standards for animal management and care, including living environments, social groupings, health, and nutrition.

ZOOLOGICAL PRACTICES

CLICK HERE TO CONTACT ASK AN AQUARIST

You will receive an email notification to confirm your consent.

AQUARIUM BREEDING PROGRAM

Our aquariums have successfully bred and continue to breed animal species such as Cownose Rays, Southern Stingrays, Seahorses, Clownfish, Cardinal Tetras, Neon Gobies, Cuttlefish, Horseshoe Crabs, Jellies, Whitespotted Bamboo Sharks, corals of many species and many others.

We also cooperate with other aquariums that also have captive breeding programs and exchange animals when needed.

Our animal husbandry staff (marine biologists or aquarists) also cultures our own live foods for some of our smaller animals. These live foods include single-cell algae, brine shrimp, rotifers and mysis shrimp.

Our aquarists have learned to breed jellies from attached polyps to free-swimming adults.

OBTAINING NEW SPECIMENS

Occasionally we must obtain animals from the ocean and when we do, our husbandry staff does this directly in order to ensure that the animals are handled with the best care possible from their habitat to ours.

Our aquarists use SCUBA gear to dive underwater to collect select species of Caribbean reef fishes, and they collect all of the large sand tiger and sandbar sharks and many of the rays in our exhibits using a specialized hook-and-line technique.

The other group of reef fishes we display originate from the Indo-Pacific region, and these fishes are obtained from commercial suppliers who are certified to collect these in a sustainable manner without the use of chemicals, or they are obtained as captively bred.

PENGUIN CONSERVATION

WHAT IS SANCCOB?

It’s an acronym for The Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds. Long name, but a great worthy cause.

This non-profit seabird rehabilitation center is based in Cape Town, South Africa. They are internationally recognized for their rehabilitation efforts.

Treated over 85,000 birds since inception in 1968. In addition to rehabilitation, especially for threatened species, they aim to raise awareness about conservation through education.

MORE INFO

PENGUIN PAINTINGS

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies donated over $6,000 last year alone to SANCCOB from proceeds of the penguin art work. When you purchase an original penguin painting … created by our very own penguins at the aquarium, 50% of all the proceeds go straight to SANCOBB and their conservation efforts on behalf of these amazing birds.


SIZES & PRICES:
• 5X7 – $30.00
• 9X12 – $45.00
• 11X14 – $55.00
• 14X18 – $65.00

• 18X24 – $75.00
• 24X24 – $85.00
• 24X36 – $150.00
• 30X30 – $175.00
• 36X36 – $200.00

YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE TOO!

Conservation at Home. Everyone of us has a tremendous impact on the planet. A few simple changes to your daily life can change the future of our Earth.

AT HOME

• Recycle everything you can: newspapers, cans, glass, aluminum foil and pans, motor oil, scrap metal and plastics. Call 1-800-I-RECYCLE or visit www.earth911.org to find out how and where to recycle your trash.

• Install water-saving showerheads and/or limit your shower time. You can save anywhere from 10 to 50 gallons of water for every 10 minutes spent in the shower.

• Save electricity by turning off lights when you leave a room and radios, televisions, and computers when not in use. Replace light bulbs with energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs; the initial cost is higher, but the long-term investment will save you money and protect the environment.

• Plug all electronics that have “vampire” transformers into a switched strip outlet and turn of the entire strip when not using the electronic device. These transformers consume electricity even if the device it powers is turned off.

ON YOUR LAWN

• After mowing, leave lawn clippings on the lawn. They add nutrients to the soil.
• Control insects using natural controls instead of pesticides.
• If you must water your lawn, water early or late in the day to prevent evaporation. Use timers to control the amount that your lawn is watered or water by hand.

OUT & ABOUT

• Dispose of trash properly. Even in cities, most trash eventually finds its way to the open oceans. A cigarette butt thrown away on the street may eventually be mistaken for food by sea birds that see it floating on the water. Cigarette butts, like most human trash, is not biodegradable.

• Pick up trash when you see it, whether in the city, in the woods, on the beach, near a river or anywhere else.

IN THE CAR

If every family in the United States uses one less gallon of gasoline per week, greenhouse gases will be reduced by one million tons. With this in mind:

• Buy a fuel efficient car. The average American driver will expend 5600 less pounds of carbon monoxide gases per year by driving a car that gets at least 32 miles to the gallon.

• Check tire pressure for proper inflation, and keep the car tuned and well-maintained.

• Dispose of motor oil and anti-freeze through a local service station or recycling center. A one-quart container of oil disposed of at the local landfill can contaminate up to two million gallons of drinking water.

• Drive less! Walk, carpool, bike or use public transportation. Sharing a ride just once or twice a month can have a tremendous impact.

CLICK HERE TO CONTACT ASK AN AQUARIST

You will receive an email notification to confirm your consent.

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