Roll up your sleeves for the Vancouver Aquarium's Ray Exhibit

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Image: Vancouver Aquarium

The Vancouver Aquarium has rolled out a new exhibit that’s letting guests get in touch with nature – literally.

Vancouver Aquarium’s Discover Rays exhibit allows you to dip your hands into a pool and touch rays as they swim by. But don’t be fooled – these fish aren’t anything like the ones you’re used to seeing. The Discover Rays touch pool features cownose and southern stingrays – social and gentle animals that effortlessly leave onlookers in awe.

Now you can experience the rays up-close, gently putting your hand in the water to feel their silky skin. Some of them will fly beneath your hand without a sound, while others say hello by flipping at the surface to create a surprising splash.

“Visitors definitely get excited. You get to see incredible animals from a different perspective,” says Vancouver Aquarium interpretive specialist Keely Langford. “You’ll get to feel the temperature of the water, the air is different, there’s a buzz. Overall it’s a really immersive experience.”

Langford also says the setting isn’t only social for the rays, but for visitors of all ages who explore the area underneath a canopy of enchanting blue lighting.

“It’s definitely a social environment. It’s giving people the chance to check out animals they don’t often experience in a regular setting. When you walk in, you get an incredible hands-on experience with the rays while the staff guides you along with facts about these unique creatures.”

Also part of the in-depth exhibit is its life support system for the animals. You can also take a walk around the exhibit and read more about why the population of rays is decreasing and how you can help just by making smart food choices.

Discover Rays at Vancouver Aquarium

When: Every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. on seasonally/statutory holiday weekends.

Where: Vancouver Aquarium

Price: Included with general admission ticket – buy online

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