by: Michael Fox Updated:
For the first time ever, visitors to the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium are being offered the opportunity to swim with sharks.
Starting Oct. 11, non-certified divers will be able to view 17 sharks up close from an underwater cage. No experience is necessary!
SeattleInsider previewed the experience Wednesday afternoon, going down into the 240,000-gallon aquarium with an underwater camera. To see video of his experience, click here.
Certified scuba divers will be able to swim among the sharks with professionally trained guides.
The staff at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium hope that the experience will teach divers how these animals are misunderstood and mistreated by those hunting and killing them for their fins.
“The main goal of this program is to publicize the plight of sharks worldwide and to inspire people right here in Puget Sound to help protect and conserve marine life for future generations,” zoo deputy director John Houck said. “We want our visitors to leave with a pledge to take action that will help save sharks.”
The eye-to-eye shark program allows visitors to see a 9-foot-long, 450-pound lemon shark, a sandbar shark, nurse sharks, a sand tiger shark, a blacktip reef shark and a Japanese Wobbegong will be lying in the sand.
Prices for the cage dive are $50 for zoo members and $65 for non-members. The cost for the scuba dive is $160 for zoo members and $175 for non-members. Prices include admission to the zoo and aquarium and a souvenir Eye-to-Eye Shark Dive towel.
For more information, or to make a reservation, visit www.pdza.org/dive.