Jerusalem to open NIS 80m. aquarium at Biblical Zoo

August 6, 2012 01:31

2 largest tanks will focus on life in Red Sea, Mediterranean, while 30 smaller tanks will feature small habitats.

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ARTIST’S rendering of biblical zoo

ARTIST’S rendering of biblical zoo 370. (photo credit: Jerusalem Biblical Zoo)

One fish, two fish, red fish, bible fish?

The Jerusalem Biblical Zoo and the Jerusalem Municipality announced on Sunday a NIS 80 million initiative to create Israel’s largest aquarium at the zoo. The aquarium, expected to open in 2015, will hold 2 million cubic meters of seawater in a number of large tanks.

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The highlight of the exhibit will be an underwater tunnel where visitors can walk underneath the aquarium and see a 180-degree view of the sharks, sea turtles, coral reefs and exotic fishes.

The two largest tanks will focus on life in the Red Sea and the Mediterranean, while 30 smaller tanks will feature small habitats.

There will be a tank for feeding stingrays, known as “sea cats” in Hebrew.

“Jerusalem will be the first city where there will be both the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, and people won’t be able to say anymore that Jerusalem doesn’t have the sea,” Mayor Nir Barkat said. “The enormous underwater park will be a unique experience and attraction, which will attract visitors, tourists and researchers from Israel and the world.”

The aquarium is funded by New York philanthropists Ruth and David Gottesman and will be built on a 6,000-square-meter campus next to the Biblical Zoo’s existing facilities.

Zoo director Shai Doron stressed that an aquarium focusing on local sea habitats is “of paramount importance” to encourage conservation and study of Israel’s rapidly disappearing marine life.

The aquarium will be planned by Prof. Avi Perevolotsky, one of Israel’s senior ecologists, as well as aquarium experts from Singapore, Germany, the US and the UK.

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