Everything is on track to open the Two Oceans Aquarium’s new large-scale exhibit sometime in the middle of next month!
The exhibit has been under construction since January 2014 and is situated on what was once the parking area between the Aquarium building and the One & Only Hotel.
This will be the first exhibit of its kind in South Africa to boast a full 10-metre long tunnel. The exhibit’s main viewing window is a continuous nine metre-wide panel, which is four metres high and weighs 22 tonnes.
The entrance to the exhibit will boast a brand new Jelly Gallery showcasing various jelly species.
Some of the animals that will be on display in the new exhibit include Yoshi, the loggerhead turtle that’s currently in the I&J Predator Exhibit, as well as rays and other fish species from this exhibit.
Species that have not been on display at the Aquarium before but will be housed in the new exhibit include a guitarfish, yellowfin tuna and bonito. The new exhibit will not house any large shark species.
“I am absolutely delighted that our plans have come to fruition and that we are able to separate the fish, rays and turtles from the large sharks. The warmer water in the new exhibit allows us to include some sub-tropical species as well as species from the southern Cape coast. This means that we can showcase a greater diversity of species from the waters off southern Africa,” said Two Oceans Aquarium CEO Michael Farquhar.
The new exhibit is the first major construction for the Aquarium in nearly 21 years. The opening of this exhibit provides the Aquarium with the opportunity to close the current I&J Predator Exhibit and the Ocean Basket Kelp Forest Exhibit for renovations.
These exhibits will close shortly after the opening of the new exhibit and animals not being transferred to the new exhibit will either be held in temporary holding facilities or released back into the ocean.
The reopening of the exhibits is scheduled for 2017: the Ocean Basket Kelp Forest will reopen as a kelp forest display, but the predator exhibit will be a completely new exhibit, housing large sharks and other species yet to be decided on.
We’ll be sure to notify everyone about exactly when the new exhibit will be open to the public … and what it will be called. We hope you’re as excited as we are!