One of our favorite attractions to visit at SeaWorld San Diego is the shark encounter. During a recent visit to the park we spent time with assistant curator of fishes, Mike Price, and learned more about the shark encounter exhibit. Already loving seeing the beautiful sharks, we enjoyed learning about how the fish are cared for at the park. The 280,000 gallon exhibit is home to a variety of sharks including sand tiger, bonnethead, blacktip and whitetip reef sharks. The SeaWorld San Diego shark encounter provides an excellent experience and learning opportunity with close up views of sharks.
Upon entering the shark encounter exhibit you can see sharks as they swim to the surface in several different pools. Observing dorsal fins cutting through water sets the tone for an adventure. From the surface you can vaguely see the outline of the shark viewing tunnel below. Along the backside of the exhibit is where Mike and other SeaWorld team members are able to observe the sharks. My daughter enjoyed hearing Mike share facts about sharks and teach her how to tell the difference between male and female sharks.
She pointed out the variation of sizes and had fun taking a picture with the sharks.
We learned how sharks are moved from different areas of the pool for medical reasons. With so many SeaWorld team members caring for the sharks, they quickly notice abnormal behaviors causing reason for concern. SeaWorld examines and treats the sharks as necessary. We observed a smaller pool holding shark eggs and then saw very young bamboo sharks.
As you go deeper into the exhibit you can experience the shark viewing tunnel, a 57-foot acrylic tube running the length of the sharks’ habitat. Sharks are completely surrounding you in the tunnel and you’ll have the opportunity to watch them effortlessly gliding through the water.
With so many different species of sharks swimming so close, the shark encounter exhibit is like nothing we’ve experienced.
Near the end of the exhibit you can observe the sharks and other fish from many large viewing windows. My daughter is always in awe of the beautiful sharks every time we visit.
See more of what we learned about sharks and cleaner fish at SeaWorld during an earlier visit.
Sharks play a great role in the balance of creatures in the ocean. Learning about sharks is the first step to conservation.
What is SeaWorld doing for shark conservation?
- The SeaWorld Adventure Parks and the Hubbs/SeaWorld Research Institute study sharks and educates the public on their vital role in the ocean environment.
- The education team at SeaWorld conducts dozens of classes, tours, camps, and hands-on encounters that show guests the importance of sharks. Shamu TV, a free satellite and distance learning program, provides classrooms and homes around the world an up-close look into the world of sharks and other animals.
- The SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund (SWBGCF) supports projects to protect sharks around the world.
- The SWBGCF has funded studies on the migration patterns, population status, sizes, and age/genders of sharks.
In addition to seeing sharks at the shark encounter you can also visit and touch sharks at the new Explorer’s Reef exhibit.
Have you ever had a close encounter with a shark?
To learn more about SeaWorld’s commitment to maintaining their position as a world leader in wildlife rescue and rehabilitation, read the open letter from SeaWorld’s animal advocates. Read why I choose to support SeaWorld if you are interested in our frequent visits to the parks.
If you feel as passionately as I do that SeaWorld provides excellent care for all their animals, are leaders in animal conservation, and are providing abundant educational opportunities, please join the SeaWorld Truth Team to learn how you can stand with SeaWorld.
Disclosure: Our family received complimentary tickets to SeaWorld and a day full of animal interactions with many learning opportunities for this visit. All opinions are my own.