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Stingrays, Otters, and More are Coming to El Paso Mall

REPOST / Article Excerpt / by Luis Rios / El Paso Inc. Reporter


El Pasoans will soon be able to not only shop for clothes at Sunland Park Mall but also see otters, stingrays, and sharks.


The owners of the Monkey Rock family entertainment center are spearheading a $5 million project to open Jungle Reef – a 26,000-square-foot interactive aquarium. It will be next to Dillard’s, where Old Navy used to be.



“It’s going to have stingray touch pools, a shark tank, a bird aviary, and an otter enclosure where you can touch, feed, and learn about the animals,” said Jon Hepworth, one of the owners of Monkey Rock.


“We’re going to bring in a lot of schools for field trips and even sensory days for kids who are diagnosed with autism.”


Jungle Reef is expected to open in spring 2024, with price packages to be confirmed at a later date.


Until 2021, Hepworth was the chief operating officer at Blue Zoo, an interactive aquarium business with locations in Washington, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Idaho.


Hepworth and his brothers Taylor, Cy, Jordan, and Thane, are using that experience to create their own aquarium in El Paso.


“The El Paso Zoo has aquarium enclosures, but there’s no dedicated brick-and-mortar building that’s just an aquarium,” Hepworth said, adding that the nearest full aquarium experience is the ABQ BioPark Aquarium in Albuquerque.


 

View the original article at El Paso Inc.

 

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