Slithering reptiles, head-strong beetles and more at new ‘Creepy Crawlies’ floor at Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo
To open Eid Friday, this latest addition to Underwater Zoo is dedicated to reptiles, insects and everything creepy.
September 8, 2010 2:13 by Rasha Reslan
Dubai, UAE; September 8, 2010: The richness of nature with a focus on slithering reptiles, creeping arthropods, colourful chameleons, blood-squirting lizards and a horde of insects, is the new highlight at Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo at The Dubai Mall, all set to open Eid Friday.
A must-visit attraction for children, ‘Creepy Crawlies’ is a dedicated floor, featuring over 30 species of snakes, insects, geckos, lizards, iguanas and amphibians. With the Creepy Crawlies exhibit, the total number of species at Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo will be more than 250 – a truly eclectic showcase of aquatic diversity.
True to the tradition of Underwater Zoo, the new floor has also been developed to simulate natural living conditions with all species selected being rainforest dwellers. The animals have been sourced in keeping with both World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) and Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
Creepy Crawlies has five dedicated exhibits – an Insect Wall featuring tarantulas, spiders, scorpions, millipedes, mantes, beetles and the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach; the Wall Mounted Glass Exhibits comprising walking sticks, geckos, frogs, lizards and toads; the Iguana Enclosure; the Burmese Python Enclosure and the Tree Snake Enclosure featuring the Oriental Whip Snake and Red Tail Racer Snake.
With animals from across the length and breadth of the world, the interactive ‘Creepy Crawlies’ exhibit will offer the opportunity for close encounters for visitors and photo-mementoes with rare species such as the Albino Burmese Python or Iguanas. Visitors can also explore the new ‘Rope Bridge’ in the Rainforest section of Underwater Zoo and get a bird’s eye view of life in the Rainforest below.
The Creepy Crawlies exhibits will also offer visitors, especially children, a thorough insight into the natural diversity of the Rainforest with interesting facts and trivia. For example, the Hercules Beetle is known for being the strongest animal on the planet, capable of lifting up to 850 times its own body weight
‘Creepy Crawlies’ will further expand the offering of Underwater Zoo and add novelty to repeat visitors, said Mr Damian Prendergast, General Manager, Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo. “One of the founding objectives of Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo is to ignite the interest of the public in nature and highlight the rich diversity, which we usually only see in books and on television,” added Mr Prendergast.
“Snakes and lizards have always been associated with several misconceptions but their diversity is truly mind-boggling. Creepy Crawlies opens doors to this sheer variety in reptiles and insects, supported by interesting information on their natural habitats and life cycle.
Creepy Crawlies spreads over an area in excess of 200 square metres on the mezzanine floor of Underwater Zoo and can be accessed from a staircase between the Rainforest and Rocky Shore sections. The ticket price for the Underwater Zoo will also cover this new Creepy Crawlies floor.
Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo is one of the most popular leisure attractions in Dubai featuring the world’s largest acrylic viewing panel and a walk-through tunnel for closer encounters with the aquatic animals. The aquarium also offers Shark Dives, Glass Bottom Rides and Cage Dives for visitors.
The Dubai Mall’s other leisure attractions include the Olympic-sized Dubai Ice Rink; Reel Cinemas, the largest megaplex in Dubai; SEGA Republic, the first and largest of its kind indoor theme park in the Middle East region; and KidZania®, an edutainment centre for children promoting 70 different professional role-plays.