Hippos, hammerheads and porcupines are just some of the many animals that Marine Biologists at the Adventure Aquarium in Camden, New Jersey care for. Chaser Ashley Hall went to see what it takes to care for these majestic animals on #ChaseMyJob.
Before Biologists can do any of the fun stuff, they have to get down and dirty. This includes power-washing any excrement from the exhibit and feeding the fish.
The fish on the tank normally feed on two different types of flakes, but also indulge in hippo feces and the hippo's dead skin.
Other prep includes laying out the hippo's food. They eat hay, fruits and vegetables.
The biologists also have to give Vince the porcupine that lives with the hippos some well-deserved attention. He runs around the tank almost like a puppy with spikes.
They use a practice called "targeting" to train Vince. This is where they tap a paddle to the ground and when he places his nose to it, he gets a treat.
Finally, after all the prep, the biologists can start working with the hippos.
They also use a "targeting" with a paddle through the glass to help keep the hippo's minds active.
Jenny and Button, the aquarium's hippos, love to get bok choy as their reward.
While awake and under water, the hippos can hold their breath for 3-8 minutes, but if they're sleeping, they can hold it for 30 minutes.
When those 30 minutes are up, their body allows them to come up for air, without waking up.
Another fun fact: hippos can't actually swim! They can jump in the water (not on land) and can push off the bottom of the ground.
But with their substantial body weight, they can't actually swim.
There are a ton of great summer programs going on at Adventure Aquarium including: Hippo Awareness Week.
This will be a great event held August 29th and 30th. Here you can witness hippo programming and enrichment while helping to save hippos in the wild.
You can purchase hippo paintings and 100% of proceeds benefiting the Turgwe Hippo Trust.
You can also watch sharks chow down up close and personal during the Summer of the Shark July 5th - August 23rd.
If you need any further information, visit www.adventureaquarium.com and if you have an idea for #ChaseMyJob tweet us at @ChasingTheNews