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Ray Touch Pools

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by Coelacanth18, 9 Dec 2016.

  1. Coelacanth18

    Coelacanth18 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23 Feb 2015
    Posts:
    842
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Does anyone know about the history of shark and ray touch pools? While I don't know exactly how old the concept is, it seems like the idea has been rapidly expanding in the past few years, with more and more aquariums constructing them or including them in the original design. Additionally, some zoos have begun opening them as seasonal exhibits outdoors.

    Additionally, does anyone know how well these animals fare in touch pools? Are there any observable negative effects of being in such shallow water, or of being touched by humans all day? I always observe how they behave when I see these touch pools; usually there are animals who freely swim around the perimeter (but often barely within or out of reach for visitors) while others sit in the middle of the pool away from the people. At the aquarium at Indianapolis Zoo, something I saw that I quite liked was the addition of a no-touch area, where the rays could go whenever they wanted and touching was forbidden.