The stingrays from Tropicana Field are making the Manatee Viewing Center their winter home.
Tampa Electric built a stingray touch tank at the Manatee Viewing Center, which is open from Nov. 1 through April 15. The stingrays will be in the Manatee Viewing Center for about four months. After winter, half of them will return to the Tropicana Field, while the others will stay in the center.
Steven Clemmer, who has worked at The Florida Aquarium for five years, emphasized the importance of kids playing and enjoy nature in a natural environment.
“Many children are afraid of touching the stingrays at the beginning,” Clemmer said. “However after they see us touching them, they feel more comfortable. It is kids’ natural curiosity to want to learn and try new things, even more so in a friendly environment.”
They are expecting over 5 million nature lovers this year, many of them children. The Florida Aquarium staff members are in charge of teaching about these animals.
“We have a lot of school groups that come here and it’s a cool thing because most of them don’t know this is here,” Clemmer said. “So, it is a good surprise whenever school groups do come because they get that hands on experience touching the rays. All our volunteers and staff members are qualified and knowledgeable.”
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