New exhibit, Journey to the Reef, set to open May 26, 2012 at the Akron Zoo

AKRON, Ohio – The Akron Zoo will be inviting guests to take a magical journey under the sea this summer! The zoo is set to unveil its newest exhibit, Journey to the Reef, on May 26, 2012. The exhibit will feature over 17 aquariums of animals that live on or near the reef, live coral and a stingray touch pool. The area will also include several interactive areas for kids to learn about ocean life and conservation.

“We are thrilled to be opening Journey to the Reef this summer,” commented Akron Zoo President & CEO, L. Patricia Simmons. “We have had lots of requests from our community to bring in more aquatic exhibits and we are excited to have an opportunity to open an exhibit that will not only be fun for them but will create awareness about the reef crisis that is facing wildlife in our oceans.”
Journey to the Reef will include many animals that have never been seen before at the Akron Zoo. Octopus, eels, sea horses, venomous lion fish and clown fish are just a few of the animals that will make their debut this summer. The exhibit will also include a couple of species of jellyfish, starfish, schooling fish, crabs and more. The exhibit space will also include a touch tank that will allow visitors to be able to touch stingrays. The zoo will also be growing several different types of branching coral that visitors will be able to see in the coral lab.

The new exhibit occupies the space that was previously the well-liked jellyfish exhibit that was at the zoo from 2008 – 2011. Because of its popularity the zoo decided to stay with an aquatic theme and keep two species of jellies. Pacific sea nettles and moon jellies will remain as part of Journey to the Reef.

The interactive space in the exhibit will feature three different kiosks and an interactive media wall that will teach kids about kelp forests, harbors and reefs while they climb and play.

The entire exhibit space features a mural by local artist, Amy Mothersbaugh-Roos. Mothersbaugh-Roos, who owns Studio 2091 in Cuyahoga Falls, along with several volunteers, has spent over 1,000 hours on the mural that is over 10,000-square feet. 

The Akron Zoo is open 361 days a year. Winter hours, through April, are 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. and admission is $6 per person. The parking fee is $2. Starting May 1, the Akron Zoo hours are 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and admission is $10 for adults, $8.50 for senior citizens, $7 for children (ages 2-14). Children under two are free and parking is $2. For more information visit www.akronzoo.org or call (330) 375-2550.

Founded in 1953, the Akron Zoo is a non-profit, world conservation Zoo with over 700 animals from around the world. Located just west of Downtown Akron, the Zoo strives to provide a dynamic, financially responsible, guest centered animal experience that is energized by innovation and fun. The Akron Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). With its more than 200 accredited members, AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation, and your link to helping animals in their native habitats.

Submitted by:
David Barnhardt, Director of Marketing & Guest Services

Ph – (330) 375-2550 ext. 7238

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