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New Animal Encounters Now Booking With COVID Safety Measures

Interact with Aquarium animals and learn how the Aquarium cares for the animals from the staff members who know them best.

Young masked mad feeds rays by hand while wading in a shallow pool

Credit: Madeline Walden / Aquarium of the Pacific

November 4, 2020

For those in search of outdoor activities with COVID-19 safety measures, the Aquarium is offering up-close experiences with its animals. In addition to the popular Penguin Animal Encounter, the Aquarium is relaunching new versions of two other Animal Encounter programs. One features its sharks and rays at Shark Lagoon and the other is with its marine mammals in the Seals and Sea Lions Habitat.

Starting on November 5, the new Shark and Ray Encounter features an exclusive experience feeding the animals in the Shark Lagoon touch pools. Participants are accompanied by an Aquarium educator and animal husbandry staff member who lead the experience before the Aquarium opens to the public for the day. In a private twenty-five to thirty-minute session, participants help feed the bamboo sharks their morning meal and then step into the touch pools to interact with the rays while learning about all of these animals with the Aquarium’s staff. Because they will be in 18-inch-deep water, participants must be at least 4 feet and 6 inches tall. Shark and Ray Encounters are available on Thursdays and Fridays at 8:30 a.m.

Starting November 10, book a Seal and Sea Lion Encounter to enter the behind-the-scenes area of the Seals and Sea Lions Habitat and meet one of the animals up close. This thirty-minute encounter offers the opportunity to learn from the Aquarium’s staff members about how they care for these animals. Participants also get the chance to offer the seal or sea lion their afternoon meal. Seal and Sea Lion Encounters are available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 1:00 p.m.

These encounters are $150 per person or $135 per Aquarium member, and Aquarium outdoor admission is included. For both encounter experiences, participants must be age 7 or older. Those under age 16 must be accompanied by a paid adult. Encounters require a minimum of two people and a maximum of four, all from the same household, to participate. Encounters must be booked at least 24 hours in advance. Interaction with animals is contingent on animal health, safety, and behavior.

Participants must wear facial coverings and social distance from staff members at all times and will have their temperatures taken prior to entering the Aquarium. For more information about the Aquarium’s safety protocols, please visit For more information about Animal Encounters or to make a reservation, visit the Animal Encounters page or call (562) 590-3100.