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"Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay is an adventure of immersion,"
said Glenn Schaeffer, President of Mandalay Resort Group. "The sensory
experience is as if one were in a true temple of antiquity. Best of all, it's
Shark Reef features one of North America's largest displays
of sharks and other sea predators. Much more than a conventional aquarium,
Shark Reef is a diverse cross-section of magnificent aquatic creatures, including
close to 100 different species of sharks, exotic fish, reptiles and turtles.
Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay takes advantage of the latest advances
in technology to enhance the aquarium experience. Aquarists in scuba gear
conduct their work during the hours Shark Reef is open to the public. Unique
information presentation screens that utilize the newest "flat-panel"
television technology are used in lieu of standard printed information panels
found in most aquariums. These screens sense visitors as they approach and
display short informational programs on the animals and fish in the nearby
Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay has been developed in consultation
with the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre of Vancouver, Canada. One
of the world's most respected marine facilities, the Vancouver Aquarium is
accredited by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association and is widely recognized
for its pioneering work in animal care, public interpretation and education,
and for its work in the area of species conservation. Vancouver Aquarium personnel
provide on-site management of Shark Reef operations.
"We are delighted that we are able to help bring this totally
unique facility to reality," said John Nightingale, President of Vancouver
Aquarium Marine Science Centre.
"The Vancouver Aquarium is renown for innovation and for
the best in animal care. Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay contains the best of both
-- a totally new kind of experience for visitors, backed-up with the best
in technical facilities. We know visitors are in for a most unusual treat
for all senses, and the best part -- it's better than simulation -- the animals
are all real and alive!"
The project has been developed using advanced scientific knowledge
and stringent animal care guidelines and regulations. Shark Reef will immediately
begin the process for its own accreditation from the American Zoo and Aquarium
Association, the top national organization coordinating oversight and advancement
of zoo and aquarium display, animal care and education.
This unique facility was conceived by Mandalay Resort Group
working with an international team of aquarium and exhibit designers. Anchored
by Las Vegas architectural firm Klai::Juba, the team includes overall development
guidance by the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre of Vancouver, Canada;
exhibit design by BIOS:Inc. of Seattle; animal life support engineering systems
by TA Maranda of Seattle and Desert Plumbing of Las Vegas; animal care criteria
by Dr. Dennis Thoney of New York; and advice and consultation of a variety
of scientific and technical experts from 5 continents.