On Oct. 17, Ripley’s Aquarium and the world will celebrate the inaugural International Sawfish Day. All five species of these unique animals are listed as endangered or critically endangered by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act.
“If we don’t educate ourselves and the public on ways we can help these amazing creatures, we will not have them in the future,” says Stacia White, AZA SSP Coordinator, Sawfish Studbook Keeper & Assistant Curator at Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach. Stacia specializes in everything Sawfish. “We are so excited to host George H. Burgess, the Director of the International Shark Attack File. He has authored & coauthored numerous books and papers on sharks and other aquatic animals. Come and ask him all your questions.”
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Burgess will be accompanied by Lindsay French – assistant for the International Shark Attack File & Graduate Student in the Florida Program for Shark Research Sawfish Encounter Database. They will be talking all about their education and outreach programs and what steps to take if you encounter a sawfish.
“We are extremely excited to host a couple of the top names in shark research to Ripley’s Aquarium for the First Annual International Sawfish Day, said Pablo Chavez, General Manager of Ripley’s Attractions Myrtle Beach, “to encourage everyone to come hear all their amazing info we will be offering ½ off admission to anyone that mentions Sawfish Day, with $1 of every ‘Sawfish Admit’ to Sawfish Conservation.”
Special Events During the Day Include:
· 9:30am – 1:30pm – Come learn everything about Sawfish by asking questions of our Guest Sawfish & Shark Experts as well as educational kid-friendly activities with the Ripley’s Educators
· 9:30am – Watch our Aquarists dive with Sharks & Sawfish
· 11:30am – Shark/Sawfish Feeding with a Question/Answer Session in the Dangerous Reef Tunnel
· 1:30pm –Guest Lecture by George Burgess in the Banquet Room (The lecture will be broadcast live on the Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach Facebook page)
After the guest lecture, Ripley’s Staff will be traveling with George and Lindsay to Crazy Sister Marina to display and distribute Sawfish Encounter Information.