ST. LOUIS, June 28, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Saint Louis Zoo's new Sea Lion Sound exhibit, bringing visitors nose-to-nose with swimming sea lions, opens to the public on Saturday, June 30. Sea Lion Sound features a walk-through, transparent tunnel into the sea lion habitat – the first in North America – and a landscape inspired by the rugged Pacific Northwest Coast.
Located in the center of the Zoo, the 1.5-acre, $18 million habitat and arena for 11 California sea lions includes two state-of-the-art marine mammal exhibits.
Enterprise Rent-A-Car Family Sea Lion Landing features a spectacular 35-foot-long underwater viewing tunnel, where visitors can see animals swimming around them. A harbor seal is expected to join the sea lions at Sea Lion Landing later this summer.
The Lichtenstein Sea Lion Arena, home to the First Bank Sea Lion Show, features an 811-seat amphitheater, the large Ann Lux Family Stage, a 40,000-gallon see-through pool, a rock bridge extending into the audience and a high diving platform and slide – all designed to show off the sea lions' natural abilities.
"At Sea Lion Sound, visitors will see our sea lions close-up. They will be able to interact directly with these magnificent marine mammals and learn from that contact. We believe this experience will build a new understanding of these highly adaptable, social creatures and the need for their conservation," said Dr. Jeffrey P. Bonner, Dana Brown President and CEO of the Zoo.
Funding for the exhibit comes from The Living Promise Campaign, launched in 2010 to raise $120 million to be used to build dynamic new animal exhibits, enhance the visitor experience, improve the Zoo's infrastructure and strengthen its endowment.
About Saint Louis Zoo:
Named America's #1 Zoo by Zagat Survey and Parenting Magazine, the Saint Louis Zoo is widely recognized for its innovative approaches to animal management, wildlife conservation, research and education. One of the few free zoos in the nation, it attracts about 3,000,000 visitors a year. More info at www.stlzoo.org.
SOURCE Saint Louis Zoo