Activities

FAQ's

Why aren't the sharks eating the fish?

Though sharks are viewed as eating machines constantly in search of food, this is definitely not the truth. Our large sharks in the shipwreck exhibit are fed three times a week. Each shark is fed individually so our aquarists insure that the dietary needs of each animal are met. Sharks are also opportunistic hunters. They tend to feed on prey that is weak, sick or injured. Because our sharks are fed a healthy diet, and the fish that reside with them are healthy, the sharks do not need to expend the energy to chase their co-inhabitants for food.

Are there any Great White Sharks in Shark Reef Aquarium?

There are no Great White Sharks in Shark Reef Aquarium. However, you will find 15 other shark species during your visit.

I visited Shark Reef Aquarium and noticed a shark resting on the bottom. Is it sick?

A common myth about sharks is that they all must swim in order to breathe. While that is true of some sharks, the majority of sharks, like the nurse shark, can rest on the bottom without moving, using muscles to pump the water over their gills to breathe.

What is the largest shark at Shark Reef Aquarium?

The sandtiger shark is the largest shark in the aquarium. Some of our sandtigers are close to 9 feet in length.

Are the Golden Crocodiles real?

As the Golden Crocodiles stare at you through the glass without moving an inch, it's easy to see why you might think they aren't real. Crocodiles are reptiles. As a cold-blooded animal, reptiles conserve their energy and often sit still, and will move only when necessary. I can guarantee that if you were on the other side of the glass with the crocodile, you would see the crocodile move very quickly.

Have there been any births at Shark Reef Aquarium?

Shark Reef Aquarium has had several animals give birth. Some include blacktip reef sharks, southern stingrays, and bonnethead sharks.

My child loves Shark Reef Aquarium. Can I have a Birthday Party there?

Shark Reef Aquarium offers Birthday Parties. Check out the Birthday Party page for more information.

When did Shark Reef open?

Shark Reef opened on June 20, 2000.

How many people work at the aquarium?

About 72 people work at the aquarium.

Do you get to touch any animals? Is it safe to do that?

Shark Reef Aquarium has a touchpool inhabited by southern stingrays, a whiptail ray, California round rays, horseshoe crabs, and bamboo sharks. All of the animals are safe to touch. All we ask is that you touch the animals on their backs with a gentle one-finger touch and avoid areas such as the eyes, gills, and tail. The barbs of the stingrays are trimmed periodically so they cannot sting. This does not hurt the stingray and is much like trimming your fingernails. Eventually, the barb will start to grow back and will be trimmed again. It is important to remember that the stingray will only sting when threatened and to defend itself.

How did Shark Reef Aquarium acquire the animals in its collection?

Many of the animals at Shark Reef Aquarium were acquired from other AZA facilities. For example, Long Beach Aquarium and Shark Reef Aquarium support each other in stocking exhibits that provide for our primary mission of educating the public. Animals that are collected from the ocean are done so by reputable and responsible suppliers. This means that the animals are collected from healthy, sustainable populations, and are collected in ways that minimize impact on the environment.

I would love to work in a zoo or aquarium? What do I need to do?

The staff of Shark Reef Aquarium has varied backgrounds. All share a common love and respect for the animals under their care. One thing to keep in mind is that there are only 213 AZA accredited facilities, so there is a lot of competition for animal care employment. To be the best qualified candidate, we recommend getting a college degree, and depending on what your interests are, studying any of the following-biology, zoology, chemistry, psychology, education, or engineering. We also suggest applying for internships or volunteering at a local museum, veterinary office, or other related facility. Any relevant experience where you can acquire valuable, job-related skills will help you in your goal of pursuing a career in the zoo and aquarium field.

I read Shark Reef Aquarium is AZA accredited? What does that mean?

AZA is an acronym for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The AZA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums. To be accredited by the AZA, an institution must have achieved rigorous standards for animal care, education, wildlife conservation and science. Shark Reef Aquarium has been accredited twice, first in 2003 and again in 2007.

How big is Shark Reef Aquarium?

The exhibit building is 95,000 square feet and houses 14 exhibits totaling 1.6 million gallons of both fresh and salt water.