The sharks are back! Check out the our new Predator Exhibit.

If you’ve visited the Two Oceans Aquarium in the last few weeks, you may have noticed that public access to the walkway around the Predator Exhibit has been restored. You may also have noticed that something awesome is happening inside the empty exhibit, so here’s an update.

Almost a year ago, we closed the exhibit for much-needed repair work. The four ragged-tooth sharks that called it home were released back into their natural habitats and slowly the inside of the old exhibit was demolished.

This doesn't look like an exhibit...yet. But this new structure is the basis of the revamped Predator Exhibit, and holds the medical pool, which will allow for the easier introduction of new animals into this exhibit.

What’s changed?

The revamped Predator Exhibit is not any bigger in terms of floor space, but the optimised use of space means that the exhibit can now house as many as eight large ragged-tooth sharks, whereas before it could only accommodate four.

“What an awesome job Wild Exposure has done on the rockwork. They came in and worked hard every day to get finished earlier than expected and as usual completed with a very realistic looking finish. My 5-year-old thought it was real.” – Mike de Maine, Two Oceans Aquarium Technical Manager

An external contractor, Wild Exposure, was brought in to create the new rocky environment. Under the leadership of seasoned foreman Ruan Schonefeld, Wild Exposure has created a truly natural looking masterpiece. Wild Exposure have a ton of history with us; they actually created the incredible rockwork currently in our I&J Ocean Exhibit.

Ruan of Wild Exposure shows us how rocks are shaped. All it takes is some PVC and a blow torch. Light weight frameworks are needed to prevent damage to the exhibits waterproofing.

The new rockwork has some cool hidden design secrets. Inside the structure is a hidden medical pool, which will allow sharks to be separated from the others without the stress of being removed from the exhibit. This will make it far easier for new sharks to be introduced, for sick or injured sharks to be isolated, and for sharks to be easily removed from the exhibit when it’s time to release them back into the wild.

In under a week, this network of pipes, mesh and cable will transform into photorealistic rockwork. And this entire structure does not use a single bolt.

A narrow crack through the centre of the rockwork now also allows for smaller fish to swim through and hide or rest. Natural refuges like this are important in real-world ecosystems, and will enable our exhibit to have a larger variety of fish species.

This crevasse is a new addition - it will allow small fish to hide from the sharks, offer an emergency escape for divers and also conceals a hidden entrance to the medical pool.

Finally, a small cave added to the front of the rockwork (for your viewing benefit) will allow divers to conduct underwater feeds of sharks without the need to be constantly watching their backs and sides.

Looking amazing, this small cave offers our divers a safe place to feed the sharks from. Divers need a clear line of sight and cannot risk a shark approaching them from behind.

What species of sharks and fish can you expect?

Like any predator, we know that surprise is the best way to make an impact. You are going to have to wait and see – but we promise our newcomers won’t leave you disappointed.

When will it be open?

We’ve now completed the maintenance aspect of the project. Our awesome new rockwork is complete and we are excited to say that things are on track for opening the exhibit in the not-too-distant future.

Our first new sharks are currently in quarantine, and visitors in the coming weeks will be able to see the progress of the new exhibit slowly being refilled with seawater, and new species introduced.

Coming soon...

The Two Oceans Aquarium puts the wellbeing of its inhabitants first – so please be patient, it takes time to make sure each shark is introduced in a healthy and stress-free way. Do not expect a ‘grand-opening’, but rather enjoy the ongoing evolution of this exciting new exhibit. We are excited to be able to share this special recreation of one of the Aquarium's classic exhibits with you.

Want to get shark-ready? Learn everything you’ve ever wanted to know about sharks right here



blog comments powered by Disqus