UnderWater World announced today (Thursday 21 March) that they are powering up for an exciting Easter holiday, with visitors now able to see three ‘cutting-edge’ creatures in the new ocean walk through.
The Sunshine Coast attraction has recently welcomed two new sawfish named Black and Decker from Melbourne Aquarium.
The male and female animals have been joined by longstanding resident sawfish Makita; giving visitors the opportunity see these critically endangered animals up close.
The appropriately named sawfish, characteristically known for their long, jagged, saw-like nose now call Turtle Temple, located in the attraction’s new ocean walk through, home.
UnderWater World Exhibits Manager Kate Willson said the three sawfish in the ocean walk through will provide a platform to educate the public about the critically endangered species. “The sawfish is a magnificent creature and unfortunately over the past decade it has become critically endangered, with its population dramatically decreasing around the world to the point where it is currently facing extinction,” she said.
“The sawfish is found in the Atlantic and Indo-Pacific ocean but it would be extremely rare to encounter one in the wild, which is why aquariums play such an important role in raising awareness about the issues facing these and other critically endangered animals.”
“Overfishing and habitat destruction are the main threats to the sawfish population globally,” Ms Willson said.
“Black and Decker came to us from Melbourne Aquarium late October last year, but regular visitors will already know Makita, she has been with us since the early nineties,”
“Saw fish are unusual in that they can live in both salt and freshwater, depending on their life stage. We recently moved Makita from a freshwater enclosure to the saltwater ocean walk through, so this is the first time all three sawfish have been together.”
The attraction is encouraging visitors to see the endangered sawfish Makita, Black and Decker and learn about the unique animal and the threats it faces in every day marine life.
“UnderWater World has a leading marine conservation program and the animal care team at the attraction are incredibly passionate about protecting marine life and educating the public about endangered animals.”
Visitors will also be able to see UnderWater World’s new ocean walk through and its four exciting themed zones; Shark Shipwreck, Coral Cove, Bays of Rays and Turtle Temple.
Turtle Temple, filled with the ruins of a Polynesian temple, houses recovering sea turtles of all species and sizes, as part of UnderWater World’s rescue, rehabilitation and release program for Australia’s most loved and endangered marine animals, the sea turtle.
Eight different species of shark now call Shark Shipwreck home and visitors can come face-to-face with the impressive creatures as they walk through the ruined remains of a submarine in the 80 metre long tunnel. The Bay of Rays zone sees a collection of gliding rays, from the sleek sting rays to the spotty leopard rays and the new cownose rays smoothly sail through the sea water tank.
While over at Coral Cove, brightly coloured fish swim in and around radiant coral. With over 50 species of fish in 2.5 million litres of water, the new ocean tunnel gives visitors a magical look at the under sea world.
As well as the four new zones in the Ocean Tunnel, visitors can explore seven other unique zones throughout the aquarium including Seal Island, Otter Empire, Fresh and Freaky, Billabongs and Backyards, Touch and Tell, Weird and Wonderful and Crawly Creatures with thousands of marine and freshwater animals and over 210 different species on display.
Throughout the Easter school holidays, UnderWater World will also have Behind the Scenes tours, allowing visitors to closely explore the attraction’s everyday processes and learn about what marine experts do to nurture turtles, feed the marine life and keep 2.5 million litres of water at the highest quality, with three tour sessions daily at 11:30am, 1pm and 2:30pm.
Other animal experiences include a seal photo, seal swim, seal encounter and Shark Dive Xtreme where visitors can meet their favourite animal friends.
Tickets for the Behind the Scenes tour are only $10 for adults and children, during the school holidays.
For more information about the Behind the Scenes tour or other Animal Experiences please visit www.underwaterworld.com.au