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Shark Experience

 Newly enhanced Shark Experience where guests will discover new state-of-the-art audio and visual enhancements and interactive education opportunities to compliment the existing walkthrough underwater tunnel and floor-to-ceiling viewing windows that have been wowing guests for over 30 years.

Surround yourself with sharks in this walk-through underwater tunnel!

The 300,000-gallon viewing gallery with floor-to-ceiling windows features a variety of shark species, including:

  • Nurse shark
  • Sandbar shark
  • Australian zebra shark
  • Spotted wobbegongs

Just a few of the over 380 known species of shark in the world. The sharks share the exhibit with other fish and stingrays.

At the Shark Experience, you’ll enter through a dark entryway that leads to an illuminated, crystal-clear tunnel, where you find yourself surrounded by sharks as they navigate overhead and alongside you. You’ll then make your way to the viewing gallery where you can observe the sharks and sometimes see our divers situated among them.

Though sharks are often viewed as fierce, aggressive creatures, they are seriously misunderstood. Despite their image, sharks are vulnerable, and many are harmless to humans. Sharks such as the sandbar shark, a classic-looking species found in the Atlantic Ocean and the Indo-Pacific regions are fairly large, with females as big as 150 lbs. But this species is slow to mature with a low reproductive rate, contributing to their vulnerability to threats such as commercial hunting and fishing.

Besides sport fishing and overfishing, the survival of shark species in general are threatened by finning, drift nets, which kill millions of sharks by accident each year, and pollution and commercial development which threaten water quality and the fragile near-shore nursery grounds that many sharks rely upon.

Sharks are also killed for their parts, such as shark eyes for cornea transplants, shark cartilage for burn treatments and biochemicals, shark liver oil found in lipstick and other cosmetics, and shark jaws and teeth for jewelry and tools, in addition to the shark meat and skin used for other products.

Animal Fact

Near Lakeside Pavilion and Seaside Junction
About Sharks

  • Nurse Shark
    • Scientific Name: Ginglymostoma cirratum
    • Size: Nurse sharks can range from 7.5 – 9 feet
  • Sandbar Shark
    • Scientific Name: Carcharhinus plumbeus
    • Size: max length of about 7.5 feet
  • Australian Zebra Shark
    • Scientific Name: Stegostoma tigrinum
    • Size: max length of about 8 feet
  • Spotted Wobbegong
    • Scientific Name: Orectolobus maculatus
    • Size: max length of about 10.5 feet

Fun Fact

  • Nurse sharks are one of the species of sharks that are able to remain perfectly still. 
  • The sandbar shark is one of the largest coastal pelagic sharks, and can be up to eight feet long.
  • Australian Zebra Sharks are nocturnal.
  • Spotted Wobbegongs have a spiracle, allowing them to breathe while remaining motionless

Conservation Status

  • Nurse Shark: Data Deficient 
  • Sandbar Shark: Vulnerable
  • Australian Zebra Shark: Endangered
  • Spotted Wobbegongs: Near Threatened

How You Can Help

Refuse to buy any shark products; consuming shark steaks or shark fin soup. Avoid preparations made from shark cartilage. Avoid “tag and release” fishing trips during which sharks are only caught and tagged. Sharks can die during such actions or may later be attacked by other sharks. Support organizations such as the Shark Foundation and Ocean Conservancy and others that actively protect shark species and their natural habitat.

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