BY JENNIFFER WARDELL
Clipper Staff Writer
Summer doesn’t last, and neither will the Living Planet Aquarium.
At least, not at its current location. The aquarium, which was originally located at Gateway Mall in Salt Lake and moved down to Sandy in 2006, will close Sept. 8. After a few months to transfer animals, it’s expected to re-open this December in a larger building in Draper.
For Davis County residents who are leery about making an even longer drive, August is the last chance to enjoy a taste of the ocean in the heart of the desert.
For those not familiar with the aquarium, there is a far wider range of animals on display than can be found in the state’s bodies of water. River otters are among the newest additions, but there are also penguins, sea horses, an octopus, a rescued sea turtle and a mix of small sharks. The otters, penguins and octopus are the most spectacular exhibits, though that means they also draw the thickest crowds.
A small viewing area allows visitors to stare at several different types of jellyfish, including Moon jellyfish, Pacific Sea Nettle and upside-down jellyfish. Each type has its own tank, allowing visitors to move back and forth when the crowd around one gets too plentiful.
Like any good aquarium, Living Planet also has a touch tank with stingrays, bat rays, a leopard shark and more. There are also separate touch tanks along the side of the room with starfish, anemones and other creatures.
Another section, focusing on the Amazon, has all the snakes, frogs and bugs a young heart could hope for. Nearby, another set of tanks focuses on the abilities of different animals.
The new building, which will be located at 12033 S. Lone Peak Parkway, will include new amenities such as an underwater walkthrough tunnel and a 4D theater, which adds physical effects to the viewing experience.
The Living Planet Aquarium is located at 725 E. 10600 South. For more information about prices and times, visit thelivingplanet.com.