NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Audubon Aquarium is giving the public a chance to get close and personal with some of the planet’s oldest living species in the ocean with the opening of Shark Discovery.
On July 2, the new 13,000-gallon, 16-foot-long shark and ray touch pool opens along with an interactive LED screen running the entire length of the habitat.
The pool will be home to a number of shark and ray species, including white spotted bamboo shark, epaulette shark, southern stingray, coral cat shark, bullnose ray, blue-spotted stingray, and cownose stingray.
Construction of the $2.9 million habitat is the largest project at the Aquarium since the 2014 opening of the Great Maya Reef.
“Sharks play a vital role in top-down maintenance of ocean ecosystems around the world,” said Rich Toth, senior vice president and managing director of Audubon Aquarium. “Globally, shark and ray species are threatened with extinction largely due to overfishing and other unsustainable human practices.
“Our hope is that by reaching into the touch pool creates a connection, sparking action to protect marine life and the ocean.”