New zoo exhibit gets visitors up close and personal with stingrays, sharks

(WMC-TV) – Visitors at the Memphis Zoo will soon be able to get up close and personal with stingrays and sharks.

A new exhibit called Stingray Bay will give people a hands-on experience with marine wildlife. This new feature will be the first time zoo visitors will have the chance to interact directly with the animals through touch.

"Our mission is to connect people with wildlife," said Memphis Zoo President Chuck Brady. "What better way to connect them than having a hands-on teaching environment?"

The exhibit will hold 17,000 gallons of salt water, which will house four different types of stingrays and sharks: cownose stingrays, southern red stringrays, bonnethead sharks and banded, or spotted bamboo sharks.

"Our hope is that our members and new visitors will have an enhanced visit each time they come to the Memphis Zoo," Brady said. "An activity like Stingray Bay creates memories for families that are both fun and educational."

The zoo is partnering with a company that specializes in exhibits like Stingray Bay throughout the country.

Stingray Bay will open in March 2013 and will stay open through October.

Admission to the exhibit will be $3 for zoo members and $4 for nonmembers. There will be feedings available for an additional cost of $2.

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.