Tacoma — Hammerhead sharks, green sea turtles, moon jellies and something called a California sheephead. Those are just some of the creatures you'll meet at the new, must-see Pacific Seas Aquarium in Tacoma.

“Kids will have an especially great time here because a lot of the viewing is at kid level,” says director Alan Varsik. “We also have the Tidal Touch Zone, so you actually have an opportunity to make new friends there.”

Aquatics curator Neil Allen says some of the animals began arriving a year before opening day. The shark pups will grow to 8 to 9 feet in length and the pair of 15 year old sea turtles brothers, Sunny and Azul, should live to be 80.

Visitors may be surprised to see sharks and sea turtles sharing the same tank, the 280-thousand gallon Baja Bay exhibit.

“They get along fine,” says Allen. “They actually don’t pay much attention each other.”

The rockfish and wolf eels from the old North Pacific Aquarium are still here. No plans for that building yet. More animals will be added to Pacific Seas Aquarium over the years. Every day you’ll find divers wiping down the glass. It’s the best thing for the animals and the best thing for your viewing.

“If the animals are healthy and the visitors come up to the glass and look and go “Wow!”, we've done a good job,” says Allen.

A visit to the Pacific Seas Aquarium is free with your purchase of a ticket to the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium.

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