Sea lions returning to Georgia Aquarium next month with new US$40m exhibit

Georgia Aquarium is readying its brand new US$40m (€36m, £28.7m) sea lion exhibit, marking the animals' return to the attraction for the first time since 2008.

The sea lions, which were relocated to other facilities when the aquarium started work on its dolphin facility, will return after an eight-year absence, part of celebrations to mark the aquarium’s 10th anniversary.

The aquarium has an active sea lion preservation programme, with a portion of earnings supporting this work. Among the ten California sea lions to call the aquarium home, two rescued puppies will join four other rescued sea lions deemed non-releasable.

The new area, called the Suntrust Pier 225 gallery, will be an interactive exhibit with trainers. Other improvements for the aquarium include a new Dolphin Tales show and a renovated 4D theatre.

Before the official opening of Pier 225 on 31 March, visitors will be able to learn about the new experience from trainers, who will host educational talks and hold public training sessions with the sea lions.

Georgia Aquarium CEO Mike Leven hopes the new exhibit will be a big draw, having previously said the sea lion addition could increase attendance by roughly 15 per cent – a 300,000 to 400,000 person increase annually.

Sea lion  Georgia Aquarium  Mike Leven  Pier 225  Suntrust  visitor attraction 
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Georgia Aquarium is readying its brand new US$40m (€36m, £28.7m) sea lion exhibit, marking the animals' return to the attraction for the first time since 2008. The sea lions, which were relocated to other facilities when the aquarium started work on its dolphin facility, will return after an eight-year absence, part of celebrations to mark the aquarium’s 10th anniversary. The aquarium has an active sea lion preservation programme, with a
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The aquarium has an active sea lion preservation programme, with a portion of earnings supporting this work / Georgia Aquarium
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