Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas

Shark Reef Aquarium is Las Vegas family entertainment – sharks, Komodo Dragon, jellyfish. Grab an audio wand, head through the reef tunnel, and enjoy the shipwreck. The Shark Reef Aquarium is a multi-level trip past and through several displays. The shipwreck feature is a 1.6 million gallon aquarium that is home to many different species of sharks. It is the only aquarium to be built around sharks, which is most fitting as Las Vegas is famous for another type of shark. A major aquarium in the middle of the desert is a great counterpoint experience.

The experience is divided into three sections:

  • Jungle
  • Temple
  • Shipwreck

Las Vegas Family Entertainment and Education

In the Jungle section, there are colorful fish that attract attention right away. There are also large land animals in the Golden Crocodile and the Komodo Dragon. A highlight of the jungle is the pool of Piranha. The fascination with Piranha is understandable. At the Piranha pool, a naturalist is present to save fingers from entering the diet of the Piranha. However, as explained, the feeding frenzy and attacks on human is more myth and movies than reality.

The temple section begins the encounter with sharks. The Blacktip Reef Shark, Zebra Shark, Port Jackson Shark, White Spotted Bamboo Shark, and Epaulette Shark are represented in the Temple area. These smaller sharks build up the visitor for the shipwreck section which contains the larger species of sharks. The main part of the Temple area is entered through a tunnel allowing the aquarium to surround the visitor. The tunnel opens into the area of the touch pool. The touch pool has many different rays to carefully touch. The smaller aquarium displays include the Lionfish, Jellyfish, and a well-hidden Giant Pacific Octopus.

Inspiration and the Highest Standard of Animal Care

The largest aquarium area is the third section, the shipwreck. The sharks are made more awesome swimming around and through the simulated shipwreck. In this section, the Grey Reef Shark, Sandtiger Shark, Galapagos Shark, Sandbar Shark, Nurse Shark, and White Tip Reef Shark may all be observed. In addition to the sharks, the Green Sawfish is the most interesting fish to observe. The design of the aquarium with water on all sides including above and below makes it possible to see all sides of animals within the aquarium. Especially eye-catching are the Green Sea Turtles which often swim quickly up and over the observers. Adventurers, as the visitors are called can seat here listen to their audio wands and observe the animals, easily getting lost in the surrounding water.

Research and Conservation Initiatives

The two thousand animals feature one hundred different species and fifteen species of sharks within ninety-five thousand square feet of display space. The Shark Reef Aquarium is built to educate, inspire, and conserve. In addition to the displays and the accreditation from the AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums), the shark Reef actively promotes sustainable seafood, especially within Mandalay Bay Restaurants. The staff of the Shark Reef has participated in the Lake Meade Adopt -a-Cove program and teamed with other state and national agencies to help save the Devil’s Hole pupfish from possible extinction.

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