Strangford Lough is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and an Area of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI) and visitors to Exploris in Portaferry will be able to get a very close look at the many species that inhabit the surrounding waters like a lesser spotted dog fish and feeling the prickly spikes on a common sea urchin.
After an extensive refurbishment, the aquarium now offers an exciting experience with its reptile zone where you can meet the resident African Nile Crocodile, Madagascan Day Geckos and our latest edition of a Green Iguana, to name a few.
To reflect the seasonality of biodiversity in Strangford Lough and to publicise hot-topics within the scientific world, Exploris will be introducing our ‘Rise of the Jellies’, a new zone. From early June through to late summer, jellyfish can be observed in large abundances within Strangford Lough. At Exploris this summer we will be displaying these evolutionary success stories where you can pick up some jelly-tastic facts based on their ecology and lifecycle.
The outdoor otter enclosure is proving to be a big hit with visitors and a small-clawed Asian otter pup was recently born, while the Seal Sanctuary continues to be exceptionally busy with 22 seals being rehabilitated and released back to their native habitat in Strangford lough for the 2016/17 season. We are currently preparing for the incoming season in late May.
A new themed soft play area, ocean pollution zone, extensive gift shop and a licensed restaurant, The Cracken, all add to the overall visitors experience for an enjoyable, fun and educational day out.
Ann Moreland, General Manager of Exploris Aquarium said, “Having welcomed over 100,000 visitors in the first 8 months, further visitor enhancements are being made including an improved queuing system, external picnic tables, additional toilets, baby changing facilities and a programme of themed events, competitions and activities all contribute to ensuring that the visitor has the best possible experience here at Exploris”.
Pre-book online for discounts or why not buy an annual membership (Adult £30 & Child £20) which enable access throughout the year. Keep updated on all our activities via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or check out explorisni.com for more information.
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