Now through July 18, the St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station is appealing to shark fanatics with its Shark Week celebrations, aligned with the popular, annual themed lineup on the Discovery Channel.
Aquarium visitors may touch replica shark teeth and jaws while learning about various species of sharks, such as the quick-moving blacknose sharks or nocturnal zebra sharks. Guests seeking a more thrilling experience can move across the aquarium’s 250,000-gallon Shark Canyon habitat on a rope bridge and visit the touch pool, which allows interaction with bamboo sharks. The bridge is part of a behind-the-scenes tour add-on experience open daily during normal hours, according to a press release.
The aquarium’s executive director, Tami Brown, hopes this unique learning experience will broaden people’s perspectives of these oceanic hunters.
“I think, when working with large predators like sharks, it’s all about learning about these apex predators, and developing a respect for them, and understanding they aren’t the crazy attack animals they’re portrayed to be,” Brown says in the release. “It’s important to develop a respect for these guys and their natural history.”
The aquarium’s massive habitat houses not only sharks but also rays, sea turtles and thousands of fish. Shark species guests might spot include: sandbar sharks, blacknose sharks, zebra sharks, whitetip reef sharks, black tip sharks, nurse sharks, bonnethead sharks, bamboo sharks and cat sharks.