Have no fear, the sharks are here! The N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher opened a new Bamboo Shark exhibit.
Aquarium staff designed a unique and safe animal interaction where even the youngest visitors can reach out and touch a live shark.
The touch pool features two species of baby bamboo sharks, whitespotted (Chiloscyllium plagiosum) and brownbanded (Chiloscyllium punctatum). A low-profile design makes it easily accessible to small children.
“One of our goals with this exhibit is to help visitors understand the importance and diversity of sharks in the world ocean,” says Aquarium Director Peggy Sloan. “A child or adult who interacts with our bamboo sharks may want to learn more about these amazing animals, respect their role in the ocean and fear them less.”
Whitespotted and brownbanded bamboo sharks are considered harmless to humans and are listed as “Near Threatened” on the World Conservation Union (IUCN) Red List. Both species are native to the Indo-West Pacific Ocean region. They differ vastly from the three North Carolina native shark species currently on exhibit at the Aquarium: the bonnethead, sand tiger and sandbar.
The Bamboo Shark exhibit is free with Aquarium admission.
The N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher is located just south of Kure Beach, a short drive from Wilmington, on U.S. 421. The site is less than a mile from the Fort Fisher ferry terminal. Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission: $8 ages 13-61; $7 seniors; $6 ages 3-12. Free admission for: children 2 and younger, registered groups of N.C. school children, and N.C. Aquarium Society members. General information: http://www.ncaquariums.com/ fort-fisher