CLEARWATER, Fla. — Celebrate Shark Week at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Shark Friendzy is a family-friendly event that runs from August 9-16.
The aquarium is offering green-screen photo ops, limited-edition shark pretzels, shark merchandise in the gift shop and fun activities for kids to learn more about these creatures.
Sit back in the Atlantis Theater and watch shark videos or visit Thelma the nurse shark at Shark Pass and learn about her behavioral and eating habits.
"Most sharks do not eat every single day," said senior animal care specialist Heather Dring. "In fact, they'll eat and then they'll go for a period of days fasting before they eat their next meal."
The aquarium feeds Thelma every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 2 p.m. If you want to get up close and feed the nurse shark, you can pay to take part in a 30-minute Shark Care Experience. All proceeds go toward taking care care of Thelma and her friends at the aquarium.
“Shark Week is really important for us here because there’s a lot of different things that sharks face in their natural environment," said Dring, referring to practices like shark finning (the removal of the fins from the body, often killing the shark as a result). "So what we aim to do is spread that information to our guests, and hopefully they’ll be able to share that information with their friends and their family."
The Clearwater Marine Aquarium is open at 10 a.m. everyday, with extended sundown hours to 8 p.m. through August 31. Masks are required for guests and online reservations are strongly encouraged. To learn more about the aquarium and Shark Friendzy, click here.