Stocking the Tanks

Sea Life Grapevine aquarium receives first aquatic life forms

by Bruce Felps

This probably will look a lot cooler than it reads, but let’s give it a whirl anyway.

Some exotic aquatics arrive in less than an hour at Sea Life Aquarium in Grapevine. They pull up to their new 200,000-gallon home under cover of a police escort so, presumably, no wandering fisherpersons from Grapevine Lake can get a hook in them.

Then again, your average angler probably wouldn’t want to hook one of these bad boys. Today’s influx includes “a couple of thousand sharks,” according to a spokeswoman for the tank-stocking event.

Let’s back this up a little. Sea Life opens July 12. It contains a total of 200,000 gallons of water — 160,000 of which belong to the Ocean Tank. It will consist of more than 30 display tanks in 12 different habitat zones for more than 5,000 creatures, including those native to Texas and the Gulf Coast, and feature a 360-degree Underwater Ocean Tunnel and a Shark Walk.

Today’s event marks the arrival of the first inhabitants of the aquarium and likely would be great fun for kids to watch — it runs through about 2 p.m. — as wicked-looking Port Jackson sharks and cute-little flagtails and squirrelfish move in.

TV crews and other newsfolks probably should be on their toes if they move in for a close-up. The press release warns that media types, and all spectators for that matter, must wear close-toes shoes.

Don’t want a shark nipping off one of those little piggies.

Bruce Felps owns and operates East Dallas Times, an online community news outlet serving the White Rock Lake area. Greatest aquarium display he ever saw depicted indigenous life in the Trinity River, complete with a submerged shopping cart, old tire, a couple of rusty signs, and what might have been a human arm.

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