Visit the Zoo

Sting Ray & Shark Bay

Sponsored by Sendik's Food Markets

May 24-Sept. 1, 2014

Otto Borchert Family Special Exhibits Building
$2 per person admission.

Free admission for Zoological Society members during our members-only Food Truck Safari event on June 2, 3 and 4, 5-9 p.m. with Zoo Pass card and photo ID.

You enter the building. The smell of the ocean
permeates the air. You approach the pool and you see them—sting rays gently flying through the water. Look, a ray is swimming toward you along the wall of the pool. You reach out and feel its smooth, slippery skin. Excited, you purchase a piece of fish. Again, you extend your hand into the pool and another ray sucks the fish from your hand like a vacuum. Cool! You can have a sensory experience like this at the Milwaukee County Zoo's special summer exhibit. Here, you can touch two types of sting rays (their dangerous barbs are clipped like a fingernail so as to make them safe) and admire two species of small sharks. This exhibit features more than 30 sharks and rays.
Sting Ray & Shark Bay

Before you visit the exhibit, learn about the four species you'll encounter:

  • Cownose sting rays are found in the Atlantic Ocean from New England to South America. They also live along the west coast of Africa. These rays stay close to the coastline and travel in groups sometimes as large as 10,000!
  • Like the cownose, southern sting rays are found off the coasts of New England down to South America. Large populations are found in Florida and the Bahamas. Southern rays are bottom-dwellers that thrive in seagrass meadows, lagoons, and small reef structures.
  • Slender-bodied white-spotted bamboo sharks are found off the coasts of Madagascar, India, Japan and the Philippines. Also called "cat sharks," they have nasal barbels (like catfish) that look like a cat's whiskers. They use their "whiskers" to locate food such as crabs, shrimp, and small fishes hidden in the sand.
  • Bonnethead sharks have wide-shaped heads that give them added lift and great agility. They're found in the Atlantic Ocean from the coast of North Carolina south to Brazil. In the Pacific they live along the California coast and as far south as Ecuador.
Special thanks to our Sting Ray & Shark Bay sponsor:
Sendik's Food Markets