Jenks Aquarium celebrates species


Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, the Oklahoma Aquarium has declared July “Sharklahoma.”

“Sharklahoma is a collaboration between the Oklahoma Aquarium and the Jenks Chamber of Commerce to celebrate our community,” says Andrea Leitch, chief marketing officer for the aquarium. “This is the first Sharklahoma, and we hope to make it an annual celebration of our world-class facility and Jenks, Okla.

“The Oklahoma Aquarium has the largest collection of bull sharks in the world,” Leitch adds, “and we want our visitors to understand why these sharks are vital to ocean health and why it’s necessary to participate in shark conservation efforts. We hope that Sharklahoma makes our visitors more aware of the ecological and economic importance of all sharks, especially by understanding the shark research that takes place at our aquarium.”

Although 10 bull sharks currently swim the waters of the Oklahoma Aquarium, they are rarely seen in captivity and are best known for their aggressive behavior.

“They are found in warm shallow water but can also be found swimming in freshwater rivers,” Leitch says. “Bull sharks can live up to 16 years in the wild and can grow from seven to 11.5 feet, weighing between 200-500 pounds.”

They can also have up to 350 teeth in their mouth at any given time, and apply 8,702 pounds of pressure per square inch in each bite.

However, Leitch promises, “humans don’t pose a threat to the sharks and aren’t a food source, so the sharks ignore them.”

That might encourage applicants to enter the Dive With the Sharks contest, now in its second year at the aquarium. All entrants must be certified scuba divers 18 or older and must enter by July 3 at The dive will take place on July 26.

Sharklahoma also includes weekly behind-the-scenes shark feed tours; a screening of “Jaws” with aquarium biologists debunking myths; Shipley the Shark mascot visits to local businesses; talks with celebrity shark experts; and more.

“The Oklahoma Aquarium has played an undeniable role in the development of Jenks,” says Josh Driskell, president and CEO of the Jenks Chamber of Commerce. “We’re excited to be able to partner with the aquarium for this programming to raise awareness of shark conservation, the aquarium and Jenks.”



Oklahoma Aquarium

WHEN — 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily; until 9 p.m. Tuesday

WHERE — 300 Aquarium Drive in Jenks, Okla.

COST — $13.95-$17.95

INFO — 918-296-3474

Categories: Family Friendly