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History

History

History

1954Wealthy industrialist Fred D. Coppock of Greenville, Ohio sets forth his 14-year dream to build a $2,000,000 aquarium in Miami.
1955Miami Seaquarium rescues and cares for Little Mamie, an orphaned baby manatee as the park undergoes construction.

1955Miami Seaquarium opens its doors as one of America’s first marine-life parks on 38 acres leased from Dade County. The park opened with just three major exhibit elements: the Top Deck Dolphin pool, Reef Tank facility and the Shark Channel.

1960The Golden Dome Stadium, designed by architect Buckminster Fuller, is completed. The geodesic dome structure quickly becomes a Miami landmark.

1960Palooza, a Miami Seaquarium bachelor porpoise, is sent to Italy to marry a female porpoise named Lalla.

1962Carolina Snowball, the albino porpoise arrives at the park.

1963Miami’s first monorail and the first in the eastern part of the country, goes up at 33 feet above ground taking passengers on a 2,300 foot sightseeing ride of Biscayne Bay, Miami and the ocean.

1963Filmmaker Ivan Tors shoots the “Flipper” Television show pilot at Miami Seaquarium. Over the next six years scores of “Flipper” television episodes and several movies are shot at Miami Seaquarium’s Flipper lagoon.

1967The first of several “Salty the Sea Lion” movies are filmed at Miami Seaquarium.

1968Miami Seaquarium welcomes the arrival of Hugo, it’s First Killer Whale to the park. The whale is named after Hugo Vihlen, the man who sailed across the Atlantic Ocean in a six-foot sailboat.

1970The Killer Whale and Dolphin stadium is completed and killer whale Lolita arrives at Miami Seaquarium.

1975First female baby manatee is conceived and born in captivity.

1985Sea Lion Amanda is the first sea lion to undergo cataract surgery.

1986For the first time in history, Miami Seaquarium had one of its dolphins X-rayed. The diagnostic procedure allowed veterinarians to determine the dolphin had bronchitis.

1992Hurricane Andrew strikes South Florida in early morning August 24. Miami Seaquarium is heavily damaged and remains closed until December 15.

1993Manatee Caroline is the first manatee to ever receive an MRI test in order to determine her illness.

1998Miami Seaquarium kicks off its Water and Dolphin Exploration program. Guests can enter the Flipper Lagoon for an up close dolphin encounter.

1999A combined team of expert veterinarians and two neurosurgeons from the University of Miami perform the first neurological surgery on an injured manatee at Miami Seaquarium. They utilized the same rod and pin system on manatee Nash that is used to repair human spinal cord injuries.

2000Miami Seaquarium welcomes a new species to its marine life family. Twenty-six Nile Crocodiles find themselves at home at Miami’s premier attraction.
2001Miami Seaquarium successfully releases a manatee with an amputated flipper into the waters of Biscayne Bay. Manatee Venus suffered severe fishing line entanglement in her right flipper. As a result, a serious infection had set in and the veterinary staff at Miami Seaquarium had to amputate her flipper in order to save her life.

2002Miami Seaquarium welcomes the birth of the first Pacific white-sided dolphin born under the care of man.
2003Phoenix, a 10 year-old manatee who has never given birth, becomes the spontaneous lactating sea cow surrogate mom to an orphan calf.
2003Miami Seaquarium rehabilitates and releases the first manatee to survive a deadly condition called Pyothorax known to kill all previous manatees. (Gulliver)
2004 Buttons, the smallest manatee to have ever been rescued and rehabilitated by a facility is released back to the wild.

2005 Miami Seaquarium celebrates 50 years of education, entertainment, conservation, and community involvement. Windows to the Sea building remodeled and reopened for new generations to enjoy.

2006First and only manatee twins born under the care of man. (Pumpkin & Patch)

2007Miami Seaquarium opens its brand new swim with the dolphins facility ‘Dolphin Harbor’

2009Miami Seaquarium veterinary staff travel to New Jersey to rescue Ilya, the wayward manatee, from frigid waters after getting lost while migrating north. Ilya was transported by the Coast Guard and successfully released back into South Florida’s warm waters off the Miami Seaquarium sea wall.

2010 Miami Seaquarium opens the next branch of its interactive facilities, a 10,000 gallon Sting Ray Touch Pool as part of the Tropical Wings exhibit.
2010For the first time in Miami Seaquarium history, two pacific harbor seals are born at the park.
2011Miami Seaquarium introduces Sea Trek Reef Encounter, an underwater helmet diving adventure. The program offers guest the opportunity to explore the park’s 300,000 gallon reef aquarium without any specialized training.
2011Sharky’s Sky Trail, a ropes course adventure, opens creating additional fun for the whole family. The attraction features a 3 story ropes course with 18 aerial challenges ranging from tight ropes to suspended bridges. 

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