Don’t worry, Toto, you’re still in Kansas, but the Topeka Zoo and Conservation Center’s newest exhibit is bringing the sharks to you! Saving Sharks, the zoo’s brand new, interactive experience, is open and ready for you and your family to enjoy! Running now through the end of September, this is the perfect excursion for animal lovers, as well as Kansans who want to take a glance into the ocean.
After rinsing hands and learning the rules of the exhibit, visitors get the chance to see Southern Rays, Bamboo Sharks and Sea Stars up close, watch them swim through their day and even touch them! But the fun doesn’t stop there! Along with the undersea creatures, there is a play area, a life-size, walk-through Megalodon shark and an interactive shark tracker.
Though this a fun experience where visitors get to laugh and touch sharks, it is also an educational conservation effort. For every person that is killed by a shark, 25 million sharks are killed by humans and over the last 20 years, the shark population has decreased by 90%. The world’s oceans are in crisis, dealing with the effects of pollution, overfishing and ongoing temperature changes. This exhibit helps bring light to this issue and what humans can do counteract it.
But we’re in Kansas, how are we involved in this? Saving Sharks teaches that even doing small things like not buying shark products, eating sustainability and recycling will help sharks and make sure that there really are other fish in the sea.
The Topeka Zoo’s hours run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week, so make sure to get out and explore this and the other wonderful exhibits they have to offer!