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Take a Spring Break Safari in Chattanooga
From animal attractions to fantastic films,
the Scenic City offers entertainment for all ages

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (Feb. 20, 2003) – From chimps in the trees to the depths of the seas, there’s so much to explore in Chattanooga this spring.

The safari begins at the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX Theater. Explore Africa’s Gombe Forest and exotic ocean reefs in two new films, “Jane Goodall's Wild Chimpanzees” and “Ocean Wonderland,” both opening Feb. 22.

Travel deep into Africa's Gombe Forest with a real-life “Queen of the Jungle” to experience the world of chimpanzees. “Jane Goodall’s Wild Chimpanzees” takes viewers on an extraordinary trip to observe surprising, fascinating and amusing chimp behaviors. Enveloped by the jungle and led by Dr. Goodall, viewers explore the lives of the now-famous Gombe chimp families: Fifi and sons Freud and the turbulent alpha male Frodo, along with Gremlin, Gaia and the endearing Galahad.

“Ocean Wonderland,” a brand new 3D ocean film, takes viewers under the waves to experience sharks in a feeding frenzy, frolicking dolphins and soaring eagle rays. Filmed on Australia's Great Barrier Reef and in the Bahamas, 3D film fans will be totally immersed in the magic and majesty of coral reefs.

Just across the street from the IMAX Theater, visitors can continue their aquatic adventure at the Tennessee Aquarium. The journey begins high in the Appalachian Mountains and follows the path of a drop of water from mountain streams to the Gulf of Mexico. Featured animals include cuddly river otters, free-flying birds and an array of colorful fish. Visitors can even get hands-on with the ancient lake sturgeon at the touch station in Discovery Hall.

Don’t miss the Aquarium’s newest gallery, “Seahorses: Beyond Imagination.” The gallery features seahorses from all over the world – from the large lined seahorses to tiny dwarf seahorses. Check out the odd-looking pipefish that swim upside down and the mysterious leafy and weedy seadragons that float on gossamer “wings.” Children will enjoy the interactive wall in the gallery and can pretend to swim with the seahorses in a pop-up tank.

Just a short drive from the Aquarium is the Chattanooga Zoo at Warner Park, widely known as the “best little zoo in America.” The new Gombe Forest exhibit features a group of charismatic chimps, including the Zoo’s most recognized resident, Hank. Guests can also experience keeper talks and chimp feedings at scheduled times.

In addition to exploring the world of chimpanzees, guests will discover many things about the Gombe Forest – from the wonders of Lake Tanganyika to the culture of the people of Tanzania. Children of all ages can listen to the calls of chimpanzees and visit a field research camp.

Next door to the Gombe Forest exhibit is the African Aviary, where visitors can see African crowned cranes and spur-thigh tortoises. Don’t miss the chance to feed African pygmy goats.

Guests can share their safari photos and win great prizes by entering the Spring Safari Photo Contest, sponsored by the Tennessee Aquarium, the Chattanooga Zoo, Kodak and the “Chattanooga Times Free Press.” To enter, contestants should send their favorite animal or plant photos taken at the Tennessee Aquarium or the Chattanooga Zoo to: Janie Shipley, Tennessee Aquarium, P.O. Box 11048, Chattanooga, TN 37401. Or email to Photos must be postmarked on or before June 15, 2003. There are categories for adults (age 18 or older), youth (ages 12-17) or children (age 11 or younger).

For complete contest rules, list of prizes, suggested Chattanooga itineraries and ticket prices visit or


The Tennessee Aquarium inspires wonder and appreciation for the natural world. Admission is $14 per adult and $7.50 per child, ages 3-12. Each ticket purchased helps support Aquarium conservation programs. The IMAX® 3D Theater is next door to the Aquarium. Ticket prices are $7.75 per adult and $5.25 per child. Aquarium/IMAX combo tickets are $18 for adults and $10.50 for children. Advance tickets may be purchased online at or by phone at 1-800-262-0695. The Aquarium, located on the banks of the Tennessee River in Chattanooga, is a non-profit organization. Open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas, the Aquarium and IMAX are accessible to people with disabilities. Members enjoy unlimited visits and other benefits. Call 267-FISH to join.

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