The Vancouver Aquarium has rolled out a new exhibit that’s letting guests get in touch with nature – literally.
Vancouver Aquarium’s Discover Rays exhibit allows you to dip your hands into a pool and touch rays as they swim by. But don’t be fooled – these fish aren’t anything like the ones you’re used to seeing. The Discover Rays touch pool features cownose and southern stingrays – social and gentle animals that effortlessly leave onlookers in awe.
Now you can experience the rays up-close, gently putting your hand in the water to feel their silky skin. Some of them will fly beneath your hand without a sound, while others say hello by flipping at the surface to create a surprising splash.
“Visitors definitely get excited. You get to see incredible animals from a different perspective,” says Vancouver Aquarium interpretive specialist Keely Langford. “You’ll get to feel the temperature of the water, the air is different, there’s a buzz. Overall it’s a really immersive experience.”
Langford also says the setting isn’t only social for the rays, but for visitors of all ages who explore the area underneath a canopy of enchanting blue lighting.
“It’s definitely a social environment. It’s giving people the chance to check out animals they don’t often experience in a regular setting. When you walk in, you get an incredible hands-on experience with the rays while the staff guides you along with facts about these unique creatures.”
Also part of the in-depth exhibit is its life support system for the animals. You can also take a walk around the exhibit and read more about why the population of rays is decreasing and how you can help just by making smart food choices.
When: Every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. on seasonally/statutory holiday weekends.
Where: Vancouver Aquarium
Price: Included with general admission ticket – buy online