What do you like to eat for lunch? Fish? Sure! Clams? Perhaps! What about mice? Hmmm….maybe not! But for the animals at the NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island, mice or other creatures found in the wild are part of a regular healthy menu. Each day, guests can watch staff feed animals at the aquarium and learn more about the diets and specialized training that goes into their care and well-being. All programs are subject to change and included with regular aquarium admission unless otherwise noted.

Shark feeding

Gather at the Graveyard of the Atlantic main viewing window to see how sand tiger and sandbar sharks are fed. Aquarium husbandry staff above the exhibit use long poles to feed each shark as it passes above a special platform. Education staff will be on hand to describe what is happening above. On the menu: mackerel, herring, blue runner.

When:

  • Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays at 1 p.m.

Want a closer look?:

  • Sign up for the Shark Bites tour and see the excitement from above. $12 plus admission

Otter feeding

The otters at the NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island are fed three times a day, but guests can watch as they get weekend treats. Because they are fed from the canopy above the exhibit, the otters are usually standing on the rocks looking up in anticipation of the afternoon snack. On the menu: fruits, veggies, berries, peanuts, crayfish, fish.

When:

  • Saturdays and Sundays at 11 a.m.

Want a closer look?:

  • Sign up for Happy Otter Hour. $19 plus admission, select dates throughout the summer

Alligator feeding

Watch as alligators Bleu and Hallow, and snapping turtle Scrappy, get fed. The alligator feeding is the only experience where husbandry staff is in the exhibit while feeding takes place, and there is a lot going on. All three animals have specific locations where they are fed, and are trained to respond to targets, clickers and hand signals. On the menu: mice, chicks, rats, crayfish, specially formulated gel food.

When:

  • Mondays and Thursdays at 2 p.m.

Stingray feeding

The cownose stingrays in the touch pools are the only animals that are hand-fed at the aquarium. As a staff member holds a clam beneath the surface, a ray will glide over her hand and you can even hear the pop as the ray crunches the shell. On the menu: fish, clams, shrimp, squid, gel food.

When:

  • Daily at 3 p.m.

Want a closer look?:

  • Sign up for Breakfast with the Rays. $19 plus admission, select dates throughout the summer

The N.C. Aquarium on Roanoke Island is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and is dedicated to the mission of “Inspiring appreciation and conservation of North Carolina’s aquatic environments.” The aquarium is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day, except Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The N.C. Aquarium on Roanoke Island is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and is dedicated to the mission of “Inspiring appreciation and conservation of North Carolina’s aquatic environments.” The aquarium is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day, except Thanksgiving and Christmas.

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