Behind-the-fences look at progress of Mississippi Aquarium

June 12, 2019

By Chet Landry | June 12, 2019 at 6:29 PM CDT - Updated June 13 at 8:08 AM

GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Progress at the Mississippi Aquarium can be easily seen from Highway 90.

Andy Horn is the Curator of Marine Mammals, Training and Animal Interactive Programs. He said that the Mississippi Aquarium property is buzzing with activity and is right on time.

“The aquarium is progressing according to schedule," Horn said. "I think people driving by the area have been able to see the progression on our main building, our oceanarium going up. We are right on track for our official opening in late 2019, early 2020.”

Horn said aquatic creatures won’t be the only ones setting up camp on the beach.

“There will actually be kind of a combination of aquatic animals and some terrestrial animals. Also we’ll have an aviary bird habitat where people will get to see different types of species of birds," Horn told WLOX.

Those interactions will begin immediately after guests purchase tickets and enter the campus.

“As you enter the Mississippi Aquarium, you’re going to be on a raised boardwalk. This first thing you’re going to see is the two species of crocodilian that are native to the United States surrounding you on both sides," Horn said.

“We’re going to continue down that path to a fresh water habitat, which is going to expose guests to different fresh water species that you’d experience in the local fresh waterways of the Mississippi River and beyond,” Horn said. "The our main feature as you walk inside to one of our indoor habitats will be our main oceanarium environment, which will be a collection of many species, both from the Gulf of Mexico and beyond.”

They can’t wait, Horn said, to show off what they promise will be a new coastal gem.

“The Mississippi Aquarium is dedicated to conservation, to our community here in Mississippi, and we’re excited for people to come and join us in learning a little bit about the animals and the habitat that we’re all responsible for," Horn said.

Horn also said that the Mississippi Aquarium will host, with support from Hancock Whitney Bank, their second Splash Bash. The fundraising event will take place again this year at the Barksdale Pavilion at Jones Park. Horn said that there will be animal encounters for all to enjoy.

Copyright 2019 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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