Travel

Holy water: Jerusalem aquarium set to open at Biblical Zoo

Jerusalem is a good distance from the sea, but residents and visitors will soon be able to view specimens of Israel's marine life in a mass aquarium to open in the Holy City.

The new compound, part of the city's Biblical Zoo, contains 30 tanks comprising a 7,000 sq m aquarium with fish and sea creatures living in half-a-million gallons of seawater.

The aquarium's inception was nearly 10 years ago, a combination of the zoo receiving additional grounds and a national plan to increase awareness of marine life.

With all the growing awareness of biodiversity, "we are ignoring the sea as a habitat," Mr Shai Doron, CEO of the zoo, said.

Israel is located between the Mediterranean Sea to the west and the Red Sea to the south, and also has two other bodies of water nearby in the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea.

Varieties of fish, sea turtles, manta rays and seahorses are among the creatures found in the aquarium's vast tanks, with sharks expected to join soon.

The indoor complex, decorated in hues of blue and wavy lines, is expected to be a boon to the zoo and local tourism.

The zoo is already Israel's most visited paid tourism site, with over 750,000 people entering its gates each year. - AFP

TourismISRAELmarine life