The real charm of the Memphis Zoo has always been its size - large enough to prowl, but not so big as to be overwhelming - as well as its ability to bring visitors really close to the animals.
Stingray Bay's two species of rays are friendly - and harmless - their stingers are (painlessly) clipped on a regular basis. — Photo courtesy of Memphis Zoo
And through October, the Zoo has a true touchy-feely experience for visitors - a Stingray pool that features two species of rays as well as two species of sharks. Located near the Teton Trek exhibit, Stingray Bay is a 17,000-gallon tank filled with friendly cownose and southern stingrays - the former move constantly, while the latter tend to snuggle in the sand when not feeding. Guests can buy a feeding cup for $2, and feed the rays - a weird feeling, for sure, putting your hand into the water while the ray nibbles up the food.
Along with the rays, two species of shark are also in the tank: whites-potted bamboo sharks and bonnethead sharks.
Admission to Stingray Bay is $4 per person in addition to the regular Zoo admission price - $3 for Zoo members. The exhibit is open daily from 9:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m., with the last admission to the exhibit at 5:30 p.m. If you plan to visit before the end of May or after school picks back up in August, then Monday - Wednesday is your best bet, as school groups generally visit on Thursdays and Fridays.
Stingray Bay is open through October 27.