‘So What Did You Do During Spring Break?’ … ‘I Fed Sharks at the Maritime Aquarium’

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Watch and even help with the morning feedings of sharks, rays, terrapins and other marine creatures on Wednesday, April 17 in a special behind-the-scenes program in the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.

— an announcement from the Maritime Aquarium

“This program — called ‘Feeding Time’ — is offered by the aquarium on occasional weekends, but this upcoming session is on a Wednesday as a fun and special experience in the middle of the school spring-break week,” said aquarium spokesman Dave Sigworth.

Feeding Rays Maritime Aquarium April Camp

Photo from the Maritime Aquarium

Hand-feeding rays is one of the activities available to kids ages 6 to 8 during the spring-vacation camp.

“Feeding Time” gives participants exclusive access to some of their favorite marine animals by letting them join educators and the animal-husbandry staff during morning rounds prior to the aquarium’s opening. Opportunities include:

• Feeling the vacuuming power of rays on your palm as you offer morsels in the Shark & Ray Touch Pool.

• Hand-feeding a horseshoe crab and diamondback terrapin.

• Going above the aquarium’s 110,000-gallon Ocean Beyond the Sound exhibit to watch as aquarium staff feed the 7- and 8-foot sharks prowling just below your feet. Toss in some bonus food for the sharks and the exhibit’s rays and other fish.

• Attending a private seal feeding open only to “Feeding Time” participants.

“ ‘Feeding Time’ is a great way to deepen your experiences beyond a typical visit,” Sigworth said. “The chance to go ‘backstage’ and to interact with our animals and our staff is very memorable. And we’re happy to demonstrate the quality care that we provide the animals.”

Sandi Schaefer-Padgett feeds sand tiger sharks

Photo from the Maritime Aquarium

Sandi Schaefer-Padgett, a senior aquarist for The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, uses a pole to feed the sand tiger sharks from above the “Ocean Beyond the Sound” exhibit.

The 90-minute experience starts at 8:30 a.m. Children must be at least 5 years old and accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Cost is $40 for adults and $20 for ages 5-12 ($35 and $15 for aquarium members). aquarium admission at 10 a.m. is separate. Advance registration is required. Register online.

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