Kind of like rock.
That's what petting a stingray feels like, at least according to
a class of third-graders from St. Christopher in Midlothian as they
got an exclusive sneak peek at
Shedd Aquarium's new Stingray Touch exhibit.
Located outdoors on the aquarium's south terrace under a tent,
the seasonal exhibit features about 40 cownose rays and yellow rays
gliding through a 20,000-gallon pool with a waterfall.
After washing their hands, guests can stand at the pool's edge
with their hands in the water, waiting for a school of rays to
glide by. Each experience lasts 15 minutes and is led by Shedd
staff sharing interesting facts about the stingrays' habits and
The cownose rays (Rhinoptera bonasus) are constantly on the move
and glide through the water in schools, sometimes bringing their
wing tips above water and resembling a small shark fin. The smaller
yellow rays (Urobatis jamaicenis) are more solitary and almost
camouflage with the bottom of the pool.
Shedd President and CEO Ted A. Beattie says the aquarium hopes
this new exhibit will leave a lasting impression.
"It's a memorable experience that will stay with each visitor,
inspiring them to care about the health of our oceans and the
magnificent creatures that live in them," Beattie says.
Stingray Touch opens May 17 and will run through the fall,
Admission to Stingray Touch is included in the Total Experience
Pass ($37.95 per adult, $28.95 per child ages 3-11). Timed tickets
for Stingray Touch can be purchased as an add-on to the Shedd Pass
($28.95 per adult, $19.95 per child) for $5 a person ($3 for
Alaina is the digital content editor at Chicago Parent. She lives in Chicago.
See more of Alaina's stories here.
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