SAN DIEGO — “Shark Week” starts in less than two weeks, but Thursday is Shark Awareness Day.
SeaWorld is celebrating Shark Awareness Day with a shark experience for guests of all ages offering shark interactions, education and conservation that can be enjoyed all year round. According to SeaWorld, they provide care to more than 500 sharks.
SeaWorld says approximately 100 million sharks are killed by people every year in the wild, mainly for their fins, making conservation essential to preserve the species.
“We are privileged to care for such a diverse population of shark species and to share these amazing creatures with the public,” said Dr. Chris Dold, Chief Zoological Officer at SeaWorld Parks. He added, “Protecting sharks is not always top of mind in part because so many people don’t understand the importance of this species and how they help keep the ocean’s ecosystem in balance. So, creating experiences that enable the public to learn about sharks in fun and engaging ways is essential to better understand and appreciate them as more than just predators. We encourage shark fans everywhere to come out to our park and support Shark Awareness Day and experience the wonder and awe of these stealthy creatures of the deep.”
In a press release, SeaWorld talked about the care their sharks receive. Sharks at SeaWorld receive the same standard of individualized care as every other species and animal in the park. They are fed a nutritious diet including a variety of seafoods such as herring, mackerel, salmon, squid, and shrimp. Every piece of food consumed by every single shark is accounted for as part of the individualized care each animal receives. Animal care specialists feed adult sharks about five percent of their body weight a week during twice weekly feeding. Every shark in our care also receives regular health examinations that include blood draws, weight, size and more to ensure their ongoing health is monitored and tracked.
SeaWorld parks provide a wide range of shark experiences and shark themed activities including:
- Shark Encounter offers an up-close look at the prehistoric predators whose ancestors dominated the sea more than a hundred million years before the dinosaur. The aquarium habitats include several species of sharks, rays, and fish. San Diego’s 280,000-gallon attraction features a 57-foot acrylic tube running the length of the sharks’ habitat.
- Aquarist Talks allow guests to learn more from the Zoological Team that cares for the sharks daily at the park. From July 14-20, the park will have daily offerings for guests to view enrichment time and see feedings at the habitat up-close from various viewpoints. Guests are encouraged to check the online schedule for daily times.
- Teeth, artifacts and more will be shown on display on select dates from July 14-20 with a variety of shark teeth, jaws, and artifacts for guests to learn more about hunting and eating habits.
WATCH: Above San Diego | Sharks seen swimming near Torrey Pines State Beach shore