The Brookfield Zoo’s new motto seems to be “closer is better.” Last year, the zoo’s Great Bear Wilderness brought visitors literally nose to nose with bears and bison.
And starting April 30, kids can get nose-to-cownose with more than 40 stingrays rays in the 16,000-gallon saltwater pool that’s shallow enough to reach in. These cownose stingrays won’t sting, though, as their barb, or the whiplike tail that gives stingrays their name, has been removed. (Zoo staff says the process is painless and more like trimming human fingernails.)
Stingray Bay is located on the zoo’s East Mall, wherezoo staff are available to answer guests’ questions.
Stingray Bay also focuses on sustainable seafood, teaching guests about how their dinner choices can help promote wildlife.
“Since we encourage our guests to make informed, environmentally friendly decisions, it’s important that we equip people with both the knowledge and steps necessary to contribute to realistic sustainability goals,” said Andre Copeland, interpretive programs manager for the zoo.
Admission to Stingray Bay is open during normal zoo hours. It costs $4 for non-member adults and $2 for non-member children ages 3 to 11.