Dallas World Aquarium
Dallas World Aquarium
|Date opened||October 1992|
|Location||Dallas, Texas, USA|
The Dallas World Aquarium is a for-profit aquarium and zoo located in West End Historic District of downtown Dallas, Texas, USA. The zoo aids conservation and education by housing many animals that are threatened or endangered as part of a cooperative breeding program with other zoos around the world.
The Dallas World Aquarium was opened in October 1992 in an old 1924 warehouse that had been gutted and rebuilt on the inside. In 1997, the The Orinoco - Secrets of the River opened in an adjacent warehouse that had been similarly gutted and transformed, and the alley between the two buildings became the divide between freshwater and saltwater exhibits. In May 2000 the aquarium purchased a vacant lot behind the original warehouse for its first new construction, the Mundo Maya exhibit, which opened in August 2004.
The upper level of the aquarium is an artificial reproduction of the Orinoco Rainforest. The rainforest is an aviary, with birds such as scarlet ibis and toucans flying freely. As you wind your way through the rainforest, you see the only public display of three-toed sloths in the United States, plus animals such as electric eels, caecilians, tamarins, poison dart frogs, orinoco crocodiles, and vampire bats.
The lower level houses aquariums featuring fish, sea anemones, coral, jellyfish, and other sea animals from around the world. The 10 main tanks feature the aquatic life of Japan, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, British Columbia, the Bahamas, Fiji, Palau, Southern Australia, Lord Howe Island, and the Solomon Islands. Other tanks on display include a large tank with a 40-foot (12 m) tunnel where visitors can observe fish of the continental shelf swimming around them.
The aquarium is also part of a joint initiative between local companies and corporations and the Dallas Public School district. Many of the Aquarium's employees are also full-time students at the School of Business & Management at the Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Magnet High School. This joint venture as part of a work-study program by the school, emphasizes real world business techniques and practices in order to teach the upcoming generation on maintaining and running the day to day operations of one of the city's largest and most well-known attractions.
On September 9, 2013 residents of Bocas del Toro, Panama converged on the Bocas del Toro airport when it was discovered that Dallas World Aquarium had captured eight (about 10% of the wild population of pygmy sloths) from the island of Escudo in the Caribbean waters of the province of Veraguas, Panama and were in the process of shipping these animals to Dallas for inclusion in their exhibits. There are fewer than 100 pygmy sloths on that island and this would significantly erode the gene pool.
After residents gathered to state their objections, Dallas World Aquarium agreed to return the sloths to the island from which they were captured.
- "The Dallas World Aquarium". dwazoo.com. Dallas World Aquarium. Retrieved 3 June 2011.
- "List of Accredited Zoos and Aquariums". aza.org. AZA. Retrieved 3 June 2011.
- "Zoos and Aquariums of the World". waza.org. WAZA. Retrieved 3 June 2011.
- "Exhibits". dwazoo.com. Dallas World Aquarium. Retrieved 3 June 2011.
- Dimitrova, Tanya. "Attempt to export nearly-extinct pygmy sloths sets off international incident in Panama". Retrieved September 24, 2013.