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Sharks, Rays Arrive At SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium

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Courtesy of SEA LIFE
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Credit Courtesy of SEA LIFE
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Young Environmentalist Panelists, ages 8-12, were invited to the unloading event. They were selected to be on the panel in December to spread awareness of the aquarium and marine conservation issues to their schools and neighborhoods.

  A truckload of sharks just got to the Charlotte area. The delivery from the Florida Keys pulled up to a soon-to-be open aquarium at Concord Mills Thursday morning.

The creature transport truck had three black nose sharks, cow nose rays, jewel damselfish, French angelfish, upside down jellyfish and venomous lion fish. They were among more than 30 species of fish and invertebrates on this trip.

SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium's marketing director, Jack Stevenson, says the animals are very happy. 

"They're adjusting to their new home quite well," Stevenson says. "It was really great today for the media event. A couple of our rays would actually stop above the ocean tunnel for a photo." 

Thursday's delivery was the fourth one full of sea life to the aquarium and the first open to non-employees. The last delivery of jellyfish, seahorses and a Giant Pacific octopus will be arriving next week. 

Stevenson says construction on the 10-million-dollar aquarium is almost complete and workers are just making last minute touches. 

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Credit Courtesy of SEA LIFE
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The sharks and rays rode in stretchers as the SEA LIFE team ran them up the stairs to the top of the main ocean tank to put them into the aquarium.

The aquarium includes a 180-degree underwater tunnel and ocean tank and will host more than 5,000 sea creatures when it opens on February 20. 

"We now have our sound on, the music playing through the aquarium, we have the lights set," Stevenson says. "It really feels like an immersive journey through an underwater world."