We delight in providing visitors to the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre a window into our underwater world. Now, our newest exhibit gives you a chance to touch it!

Opening March 10, Discover Rays offers a hands-on encounter with these gentle fishes as they glide beneath the water’s surface in our interactive touch pool.

For the next two years, guests will be able to roll up their sleeves get to know the graceful cownose rays and southern stingrays in our brand new 50,000-litre habitat. You’ll learn about the integral role these majestic animals play in their native ecosystems on the Atlantic coasts from the U.S. to South America, and discover how you can help in conservation efforts to protect them against threats from human activities, such as overfishing.

Our 50,000-litre touch pool is home to dozens of graceful cownose rays and southern stingrays.

Our 50,000-litre touch pool is home to dozens of graceful cownose rays and southern stingrays.

“For the first time at the Vancouver Aquarium, visitors will have an opportunity to get up-close with the amazing world of rays,” said John Nightingale, Vancouver Aquarium president and CEO. “This sensory experience will help create a newfound appreciation for rays and the need to conserve them. By connecting visitors to aquatic life in a tangible way we hope to inspire more people to care and take action to conserve our natural world.”

In addition to a hands-on introduction to these magnificent animals, special programming in our Teck Engagement Gallery will also take guests on a visual journey inside the strange and incredible anatomy of rays. You’ll also learn how they are capable of some amazing feats, such as 320 degree vision, “flying” through the water, and sensing prey through electrical impulses. Meanwhile, life-sized images of female rays, which grow to be much larger than their male counterparts, put their status as “gentle giants” in perspective. As well, visitors can take a behind-the-scenes peek at the impressive life support systems that keep them alive and discover how these animals receive world-class care at the Vancouver Aquarium.

Learn about the life support systems that keep our rays happy and healthy with this behind-the-scene peek.

Learn about the life support systems that keep our rays happy and healthy with this behind-the-scene peek.

With ray species disappearing around the world, Discover Rays is an important connection point to engage the public in conservation efforts and part of our ongoing efforts to ensure healthy oceans for generations to come.

We look forward to seeing you at the touch pool, just outside the Teck Engagement Gallery on the lower level. Learn more at www.vanaqua.org/rays.

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