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Akron Zoo ready to go under the sea

3:27 PM, Apr 20, 2012   |    comments
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AKRON -- Following the splashing success with their recent jellyfish exhibit, the Akron Zoo is ready to take visitors under the sea once again.

"Journey to the Reef is our new exhibit, which opens May 26 here at the Akron Zoo and we're really excited to bring some animals to Northeast Ohio that maybe people haven't seen before," spokesman Dave Barnhardt says.

Photos: Akron Zoo's new Journey to the Reef

Jellies, which debuted in 2008 as the Akron Zoo's first-ever salt water aquarium, was one of the most popular exhibits they've ever had. It closed last October and construction started the following day on Journey to the Reef.

"When you come into Journey to the Reef it will be like you're under the ocean," Barnhardt explains.  "There will be things hanging from the ceiling like sharks, a boat and a sea turtle so you'll feel like you're underneath them and going through.  It will be a little bit dark (and) there will be some shimmering light."

As construction continues on the exhibit, many of the aquatic creatures have already been placed in their new home.

"We are keeping a couple species of jellyfish, but we brought in lionfish, which are venomous and never been at the Akron Zoo before, some moray eels (and) an octopus, which is going to be the star of the show and really cool to see."

To continue the underwater theme, the Akron Zoo brought in a local artist who has painted murals throughout the 10,000 square feet of space.

Guests who want to get a bit deeper into the action can experience the touch tank, which will feature a series of stingrays.

Journey to the Reef, which is inside the Komodo Kingdom Education Center, will be open for a few years.

"It is included in the price of admission, so there is no additional cost to come through the Journey to the Reef."

The Akron Zoo is located at 500 Edgewood Ave.


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