Malaysia's new Aquaria KLCC hopes
to attract 1 million visitors

By Channel NewsAsia's Malaysia Correspondent Melissa Goh
From Channel NewsAsia of 8 September 2005

KUALA LUMPUR : Malaysia hopes its latest tourist attraction - the Aquaria KLCC - will attract one million visitors this year.
The aquarium boasts Asia's longest underwater tunnel and more than 5,000 aquatic animals, including two sharks donated by Singapore's Sentosa Underwater World.
The journey begins at the rain forests.
Enjoy the sight and sound of fresh waters cascading from highland streams into a giant illuminated tank measuring more than five metres.
Then it is on to the rivers and coastal mangrove swamps.
The final stop is a 2.7 million litre oceanarium containing the region's longest underwater tunnel, with a length of 90 kilometres.
The Malaysian capital's new Aquaria, located in the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, cost US$16 million to develop.
It features more than 5,000 marine animals.
Mr Paul Hamilton, Head Curator of Aquaria KLCC, said: "We are a long way from the sea, so we recreated a piece of the ocean in the middle of KL city. Selecting the animals which can live together is a more difficult task than the actual set up."
Star attractions include five sand tiger sharks flown in from South Africa - the first of their species to be exhibited in Southeast Asia.
Another crowd-puller is a Indonesian giant garoupa, weighing over 350 kilogrammes.
Mr Hamilton added: "We try to get some exhibits which people can actually compare their own size to these animals.
"There is an 'Arapaima' which is 10 feet long, that is bigger than any human that is going to walk through this area."
Two thorny nurse sharks were also donated by Underwater World Singapore as a gesture of support for the launch of Aquaria.
Aquaria KLCC will embark on its own breeding programme next year so it can undertake similar exchanges with aquariums in neighbouring countries.
Mr Simon Foong, Executive Director of Aquaria KLCC, said: "With Singapore they are 15 years old so obviously they are like elder brothers to us. Yes, we should possibly have something to be able to exchange with them." -