CHICAGO — For the tenth time in as many years, Shedd Aquarium has brought back its ‘Stingray Touch‘ Exhibit, where guests at the venue can interact with the animals in what the aquarium calls “a one-of-a-kind, hands-on experience for a closer connection with nature and wildlife.”
The exhibit is home to cownose rays, which the aquarium describe as being tactile animals that naturally school together and brush up against one another while swimming. On top of having a hands-on experience, guests will also be able to learn unique facts on the creatures and how the Shedd Aquarium cares for the cownose rays in the exhibit.
According to the Shedd Aquarium, cownose rays are well-known for their marathon mass migrations. Each autumn, as their summer waters start to cool, schools numbering in the thousands seek warmer habitats, moving from places like southern New England and Florida’s west coast, to places in the southern Caribbean like Venezuela, Brazil, and the Yucatan Peninsula.
While seeing rays move in massive groups is a spectacle to behold, the large numbers also offer rays protection from predators like hammerheads and the great white shark.
Alongside the hands-on experience at the Stingray Touch exhibit, guests at the aquarium can also come eye-to-eye with cownose rays — and several other species of rays, like tiger rays, yellow rays, mangrove whiptails and spotted rays — at the Caribbean Reef exhibit.
The Stingray Touch Exhibit will be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., where guests can also add an optional Stingray Feeding experience for $5 ($4 for Shedd Aquarium members).