Tour De Tampa: Florida Aquarium

Tampa, FL (WVLT) - All week we've been giving you ideas on fun things to do in Tampa for the Outback Bowl from hitting the beach to the exciting nightlife.

WVLT Volunteer TV's Stephen McLamb wraps up our series of Tour De Tampa with a look at the Florida Aquarium.

Tampa's Florida Aquarium welcomes more than 600,000 visitors each year.

"The Florida Aquarium is a unique place in Tampa. We're home to more than ten thousand aquatic plants and animals including Shark Bay which is right behind me. We have nine different sharks in there," says Tom Wagner, from the Florida Aquarium.

But what makes the Florida Aquarium unique is that it can be interactive.

"We have nine different sharks in there and on the weekends, if you're a certified diver over the age of 15, you can actually get in that tank and scuba dive with these sharks," Wagner.

"Well, it's like I just find myself dropping my jaw...like Oh wow....wow!" says Virginia Benitez, who's visiting the Aquarium.

The Florida Aquarium is an exciting place to go but also diverse with a large exhibit of coral reef and wetlands where salt water meets fresh water, indigenous to the area.

"You've got fresh water otters in there....Alligators, which Florida is obviously famous for," Wagner says.

And there's always something very unique, from getting a visit from penguins to some really interesting looking marine life.

"I was amazed. My mind was completely blown away when I saw the sea horses like the ones they have like leaves. I never, never, thought that such a thing existed," Virginia says.

Besides enjoying what you see, the Florida Aquarium also promotes a learning environment where you can be a marine biologist for a day.

"They basically learn what it's like to be a marine biologist. They spend five or six hours behind the scenes working with our own biologist and learning the whole process," adds Wagner.


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