Wild West theme to mark arrival of new attractions

A Cownose ray that is now on display at Tynemouth's Blue Reef Aquarium.
A Cownose ray that is now on display at Tynemouth's Blue Reef Aquarium.

A ‘Wild West Rodeo’ is being held to welcome new arrivals at a visitor attraction.

Blue Reef Aquarium, in Tynemouth, is holding the event on Saturday, July 25, and the following day to mark the arrival of their new cownose rays.

The spectacular-looking fish will take pride of place in the attraction’s newly-renovated tropical underwater tunnel display

Found throughout much of the Americas, cownose rays are members of the eagle ray family and get their name from the apparent similarity between the front of their heads and a cow’s nose.

When fully mature they can measure up to a metre across and have long tails which have a barb which they use to deter would-be predators.

The pair of rays will be the stars of the aquarium’s newly-re-opened 200,000-litre ocean display which has been completely re-themed to provide a new home for them alongside hundreds of other brightly-coloured marine species.

To mark the rays’ arrival the aquarium will be decked out with all things ‘wild west’ and staff will be joining in the fun and dressing up as cowboys and cowgirls.

Visitors will also be able to get involved with £2 off the normal admission price for anyone that arrives dressed for the Wild West.

There will be a bucking bronco for people to ride on the Saturday and a real live cow will be making an appearance on Sunday courtesy of Ouseburn Farm in Newcastle.

Blue Reef Aquarium’s Rosie Wiggin said: “We’re inviting visitors to dust off their boots, chaps and cowboy hats, to come and help us celebrate the re-opening of our newly refurbished ocean tunnel and the arrival of a pair of cownose rays with a family fun filled rodeo.

“We’ve got lots of activities for everyone to enjoy including pony rides, a bucking bronco, a backyard BBQ and watering hole, degu racing, coconut shy, hoopla, tin can shoot out, quiz trail and lots of prizes.”