December 21, 2008

Arizona to open largest aquarium

The largest aquarium in Arizona is nearly prepared to open in Litchfield Park, thanks to a major delivery of fish and marine life, officials say.

Eric Proctor, an Arizona Game and Fish Department environmental education coordinator, said the Wildlife World Zoo extension project is vital to the state, given its lack of a coastal region, The Arizona Republic reported Sunday.

In Arizona it is particularly important because we don't have an ocean on our border, Proctor said.

The site's 180,000 gallons of exhibit space gained scores of new residents with the recent delivery of tropical fish, sharks and other creatures.

Area officials and teachers are hoping the state's largest aquarium will not only boost tourism but serve as a learning tool for the students.

When we have a unit on the rain forest I call them and they bring out rain forest animals. I'm hoping to do that with the aquarium when we study the ocean, Alhambra School District teacher Donna Nicholson told the Republic regarding the aquarium, which should be open by year's end.