CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Without even leaving the state, you can travel the world at the Tennessee Aquarium. This year, the Chattanooga attraction is giving out passports for people to collect stamps from the various continents featured in the animal exhibits.
"I know people have been feeling cooped up with COVID-19 and a lot of restrictions there are, so this is a great opportunity to come here and get to escape and travel the world all in one place and support a local institution as well," Maggie Sipe, a level two Animal Care Specialist said.
Sipe gets to feel the warm weather of Africa every day at her job as an Animal Care Specialist who works with lemurs.
She said that the months when they were closed to visitors were hard on the animals who are used to seeing people walk through their homes every day.
"The lemurs get a lot out of watching different people come through and that's enriching for them, and so it was just really sad not to be able to share them as much as we normally do. So, it's very good to have people back, and I'm very excited to welcome a lot of families for spring break," Sipe said.
The aquarium requires visitors to wear a face mask, and they've been limiting the number of tickets they sell each day to make sure everyone stays spaced out.
"Especially on Saturdays and Sundays, tickets seem to go pretty fast, and we'd hate for you to drive all the way down here, and not be able to get in. So, if you just reserve those tickets online that's going to be the best way to guarantee that," Sipe said.
Even if you can't make a trip down in person, employees are trying to share as much of the aquarium experience as they can online, so you can still feel a connection with animals from your couch.