Gates is on a mission at this year's run of Stingray Bay and she thinks Chaffee Zoo visitors are ready for it.
Gates says, "These two types of sharks here are in nature very docile non-aggressive sharks. And this is our way of letting people know they don't have to be afraid of sharks."
Two nurse sharks and four bamboo sharks are sharing the pool with a total of thirty-two stingrays.
What happens when you come to Stingray Bay at the Chaffee Zoo is you get to stick your hands in with the creatures. This year that includes sharks.
Now, don't be squeamish. You won't hand feed the newcomers, the sharks will be well fed before you meet them. "Even if they aren't feeding they come up close by and you will be able to see them," says Gates.
Chaffee Zoo Director Lewis Greene believes that Stingray Bay will boost attendance again. He says last year's problems that caused the deaths of a large number of the rays have all been addressed.
This year should be a terrific experience for all who visit. "We'll create memories and they'll take it with them the rest of their lives," says Green.
Stingray Bay opens to the public this Saturday morning at 9 am.
In addition to your zoo admission fee there is a $1 per person charge to get up close and personal with the inhabitants of Stingray Bay.