A sneak peek at the interactive Stingray Cove exhibit at the Sedgwick County Zoo

Stingray Cove at The Sedgwick County Zoo

Stingray Cove

This Friday kicks off a big weekend at the Sedgwick County Zoo. Stingray Cove, is the newest interactive exhibit, that allows visitors to see, touch, and feed stingrays.

We stopped by earlier this week to get a sneak peek at what readers can expect.

Stingray Cove Basics

Stingray Cove opens to the public on Friday, April 15. It will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. from April through October.

There is a charge to enter Stingray Cove. For a fee of $5 for non-members and $4 for zoo members, people can visit and touch the backs of stingrays. If you want to enhance the experience, feedings can be purchased for $2 which come with two pieces of shrimp and fish.

Touching the stingrays was one of the most enjoyable parts of the exhibit. Upon entering, they asked all visitors to wash their hands and forearms. Then when walking over to the pool, you had to lay your hand flat and the stingrays would come swim under your hands. It was pretty slimy, but everyone loved it.

Stingray Cove

Feeding the Stingrays

This was a crazy, fun experience that everybody should try once. After paying the $2, you were given two little pieces of shrimp/fish. You placed the shrimp between your fingers as so.

Stingray Cove

Then you placed your hand in the water and waited for a stingray to come over.

The stingray then just rammed into your hand like a hammerhead shark, then all of a sudden, you could feel something sucking on your entire hand with a force that was hard to describe. It took me by surprise at first and felt so weird. Everyone laughed and felt a little startled the first time while feeding the stingray. Then, everyone did it a second time.

The Backstory

The new exhibit is located near The Tropics exhibit in the northwest corner of the zoo. It’s housed in the open-air pavilion that used to be used for special events.

I spoke to one employee who moved here from Denver to help with the opening, as Stingray Cove is a temporary exhibit which will be open from April to October. Don’t worry though, the exhibit will be here for at least five years, if not longer if it’s successful.

What’s cool is originally the exhibit was expected to have 39 stingrays, but a 40th one was born during travel. All 40 stingrays along with five sharks in the cove’s 17,000-gallon pool.

We probably learned more about stingrays that particular day than we ever have. Something to note, the habitat at the zoo mimicked the stingrays natural habitat.

Stingray Cove

Overall, Stingray Cove was certainly one of the coolest additions to the Sedgwick County Zoo. It should make for an even more enjoyable summer with everything that has happened in the past couple of years. Seriously, who doesn’t think we have one of the best zoos?

The Sedgwick County Zoo is located at 5555 W. Zoo Blvd. For more information, check out the Stingray Cove section on the Sedgwick County Zoo’s website.

Here’s a video look at the new interactive exhibit.

@wichitabyeb Have you ever fed a stingray before? We finally got the chance to try at our local zoo! #fyp #zoo #Wichita #stingrays #animals ♬ As It Was – Harry Styles

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