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Jawsome Adventures: SeaLife Orlando's Summer of Sharks!

Summer of Sharks

Embark on an Oceanic Adventure at SeaLife Orlando at Icon Park, a wonderful family destination known for its dedication to ocean conservation and protecting marine life. Don't miss the exciting Summer of Sharks event, running until August 27th, which aims to promote shark conservation and challenge the common misconception that sharks are terrifying creatures. Get ready for an unforgettable experience that showcases the true wonders of these majestic ocean beings. Let's dive in and discover the fascinating world of sharks!

A highlight for kids during the Summer of Sharks at SeaLife Orlando is undoubtedly the thrilling Shark Scavenger Hunt. Upon scanning your tickets, you can pick up the scavenger hunt to begin your exciting quest. With SeaLife Orlando being home to five fascinating shark species, including zebra sharks, bonnethead sharks, bamboo sharks, epaulette sharks, and coral catsharks, little explorers have the chance to discover and learn about these incredible creatures. Once all the species have been found, a special prize awaits at the gift shop. The Shark Scavenger Hunt serves as an engaging and educational experience, igniting kids' curiosity and understanding about sharks and their significance in the ecosystem. By instilling an early appreciation for these majestic beings, we are nurturing a generation that will be instrumental in preserving and supporting sharks in the years to come.

In addition to the thrilling Shark Scavenger Hunt, SeaLife Orlando offers an enlightening Behind the Scenes Tour, available year-round with some special sharky twists during the Summer of Sharks. For just an extra $10 per person over the age of 3, this educational and resourceful tour provides invaluable insights into the aquarium's inner workings. You'll discover the care and maintenance that goes into the aquariums, learn about the coral growth process (which holds a special place in my heart), witness how they cultivate brine shrimp to nourish the sea life, as well as see the kitchen for food prep including seeing what each sea animal eats and when. As you visit the lab and quarantine region, you'll gain insight into the breeding efforts that benefit not only the aquarium residents but entire species. This segment includes displays of shark jaws and mermaid purses, or shark eggs. After you'll head upstairs for a bird's-eye view of the aquariums, catching sight of bonnethead and zebra sharks from above. You might even catch a glimpse of the beloved resident green sea turtle, Chely. From this view, you'll be able to see the impressive water systems supporting the entire aquarium as well. The tour concludes with a fun activity loved by everyone – feeding fish with Nori (seaweed). As a special touch, you'll get to pick your very own shark teeth to keep as a memento. This tour is perfect for all ages and serves as an empowering way to discover how we can personally contribute to the well-being of all sea animals.

I do want to talk about two of my favorite shark species there. SeaLife is now home to not only one zebra shark, but three! They are apart of the AZA breeding program here, ensuring their protection and giving scientists incredible opportunities to learn more about these magnificent creatures. Zebra sharks are one of my favorites with their gracefulness and beauty. They are completely harmless and I hope everyone who witnesses the three will understand they are not to fear. My other favorites are the bonnetheads. Many do mistake these are baby hammerheads, while they are in the same family, they are their own species. They are also the only known shark out there that are omnivores. I remember my first time visiting the two last year when they arrived, they were extremely shy (at least when we were there) and now a year later they are super active and always around. I have a very special place for Mario and Luigi there, and they were inspirations for some of my research papers!

Sealife Orlando is truly a haven for education and conservation efforts, with its entire aquarium dedicated to raising awareness and promoting the well-being of marine life. Every tank provides valuable insights into various species and showcases the remarkable ways SeaLife is making a difference. Each area is a hub of education and conservation, empowering visitors with knowledge and practical ways they can contribute. Throughout the day, you can witness feedings and talks to learn even more. What sets Sealife Orlando apart is its awe-inspiring 360-degree tunnel – only one in Florida! Our personal favorites include the playful Minerva, the giant Pacific octopus, whose antics never fail to delight us. Not to be missed are Chely, the green sea turtle, and Ted, the loggerhead sea turtle, who have found a forever home at Sealife Orlando after being deemed non-releasable. Witnessing their thriving lives reminds us of the vital role we play in protecting and caring for our ocean friends.

SeaLife Orlando is a part of the global Sealife aquarium family and takes pride in its association with the Sealife Trust, dedicated to protecting our oceans and marine life. Their commitment to conservation is evident throughout the aquarium, making it a truly meaningful and educational experience for visitors. I cannot stress enough how worthwhile a trip to SeaLife is! Even if you miss the Summer of Sharks, fear not – they have year-round events that are equally captivating. Plus, it's a fantastic escape from the Florida heat. You can also explore combination tickets and Florida resident offers. So, why wait? Plan your visit today and discover how you can play a part in safeguarding our precious oceans and securing a better future for all that resides within them!

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