Shedd Aquarium plans special stingray experience

There is nothing quite like the feel of a stingray gliding across your fingertips and this spring, Shedd Aquarium will give more Chicago families the chance to experience it first-hand in a special outdoor exhibit featuring about 40 cownose rays and yellow rays.

Stingray Touch opens April 27 in a tent on the aquarium’s south terrace.

“Shedd has a long history of caring for several species of rays throughout our 83-year history, and they have always mesmerized our guests. We wanted to nurture that natural interest by bringing the awe and beauty of these animals to them in an up-close and educational way,” President and CEO Ted A. Beattie says in a news release announcing the exhibit.

“Dipping your hand in the water, and running your fingers across the slippery soft wing of a ray is an incredible experience. Stingray Touch creates the opportunity to learn about rays and gain an appreciation for our oceans and ecosystems through a meaningful connection with these animals,” he says.

The rays will be housed in an 18,000-gallon, 2 ½-foot deep pool. Visitors will get a 15-minute touch experience while Shedd staff shares information about the stingrays and the need to consume only sustainable seafood to protect marine animals.

The exhibit runs until fall, weather permitting. Watch for more information in the coming weeks.

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