December 30, 2023
This holiday season, SEA LIFE Kansas City has expanded its aquatic family through the addition of two male Zebra Sharks. These new residents, affectionately named Donner and Blitzen, have moved into the SEA LIFE Sanctuary exhibit, where guests can find them hanging out alongside Bonnethead Sharks and Cownose Stingrays.
Donner and Blitzen join adult Zebra Shark Link, who has been a SEA LIFE Kansas City resident since 2013. All three Zebra Sharks are part of the StAR Project—a recovery initiative to help Zebra Sharks as an endangered species globally. The StAR Project (Stegostoma tigrinum Augmenation Recovery Project) is a multi-national, collaborative initiative led by ReShark, aiming to establish genetically diverse, self-sustaining populations of zebra sharks in the Indo-West Pacific. As a partner institution, SEA LIFE Kansas City helps contribute to shark conservation and knowledge, even from the Midwest.
In addition to the new sharks, guests can experience SEA LIFE’s one-of-a-kind holiday light extravaganza, Sea of Lights, from now through January 1st. During this limited-time event, SEA LIFE will be shimmering with winter holiday spirit as the aquarium displays thousands of twinkling holiday lights across SEA LIFE’s undersea wonderland. Tickets start at $21.99 and can be purchased online at visit sealife.com/Kansas-city.
Zebra Shark Fun Facts:
• Zebra Sharks get their name from the black and white stripes they have as pups which become spots in adulthood. For years, scientists thought these two life stages were two different species of shark
• An adult Zebra Shark can grow up to 9ft long, with their tails making up half that length
• Zebra sharks are bottom-dwelling sharks, meaning they can breathe by pumping water over their gills while resting on the sea floor, unlike many other shark species that need to swim to continue breathing.