The Newport Aquarium's newest exhibit is Stingray Hideaway, which features two dozen stingrays of various species. The 17,000 gallon tank will include places to touch the animals and a 30-foot long tunnel with 360 degree underwater views.
"To allow people to not only touch the animals from up top, they get to go underneath through the tunnels and see all the animals from below," says Executive Director Eric Rose.
The stingrays' barbs have been removed. Rose says the barbs are made of cartilage and removing them does not cause pain to the animals.
A mobile stingray touch tank is already functional and will travel around Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana to schools and other places where people can't get out to visit the aquarium.
"We'll travel all over the Tristate area engaging kids in schools and community centers and the like and providing them a glimpse into our Stingray Hideaway," says Scott Wingate of the WAVE Foundation which is funding the traveling "Ray Cart."
Wingate estimates the mobile cart will extend the aquarium's reach to 100,000 people who normally wouldn't be able to visit the facility.
Stingray Hideaway is being built in the former Canyon Falls space.