Please feed the animals
Fans of aquatic life can get up close and personal with sea creatures at Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay. The 90,560-square-foot aquarium, which allows you to walk through the shark tank in a glass tunnel, now invites curious mammals such as yourself to three new interactive, VIP experiences. The Stingray Feed (9:15 a.m. daily), limited to four people per session, gives guests a tour before the aquarium opens to the public, and culminates at the touch pool, with the opportunity to feed stingrays and horseshoe crabs a bountiful breakfast of shrimp, krill and fish.
Into shelled sea animals? The Sea Turtle Feed (12:45 p.m. Sunday-Friday) gives guests a behind-the-scenes look at Shark Reef to learn about the aquarium's daily operations. After you pick up his breakfast, you'll meet OD the Turtle, who arrived at his new home in Las Vegas last year, as well as other 300-pound turtles when you head up above the Shipwreck Exhibit.
If you want to make your own shark week, there's a Shark Feed (1:15 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday) for the braver souls. The hour-long session will answer all your shark-related questions, such as what they eat and how they like to eat it. Then, you'll grab a pair of tongs to serve lunch to the zebra sharks while the professional aquarists demonstrate how the big boys get fed.
To purchase tickets or for more information, visit mandalaybay.com/shark-reef/animalencounters/.
The new lion kings
Three new lion cubs have joined the pride at Siegfried and Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at The Mirage. The white cubs — Freedom, Timba-Masai and Madiba — were born in Johannesburg, South Africa, and made their Las Vegas debut at The Mirage a few weeks ago. They're on display daily from noon to 4 p.m.
The lions' names, all chosen by Siegfried and Roy, have their own significance. Timba-Masai derives from combination of the Timbavati region of South Africa from where the lions come and Masai is a tribe of the area. Madiba is the tribal name of the great Nelson Mandela, who encouraged Siegfried and Roy to keep his country's great species alive for future generations.
Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat is open weekdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and weekends from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Cost for an all-day Adventure Pass is $19.95 for adults; $14.95 for children ages 4-12; and free for children age 3 and under.mirage.com/attractions/secret-garden.aspx