MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) Ripley’s Aquarium in Myrtle Beach says when visitors come to visit, two of the most popular things they always want to see are sharks and of course mermaids.
The mermaids do meet and greets with guests as well as perform in special shows in a tank with stingrays and sharks.
Athena the Mermaid can be seen using her tail while diving and twisting through the tank as well as walking around on land with her legs. Once she hits the water that’s when the tail “magically” appears and all of the mermaid school pays off.
“The best thing that happens as a mermaid is definitely being able to make all of the kids happy,” Athena said.
The amount of smiles trails only the amount of questions around the mermaid pool.
She says it takes a lot of practice to swim in the show.
“Being in the water is really freeing and there is really nothing better,” Athena said.
A graceful barrel roll gives way to beautiful bubble hearts and rings.
“Dolphins can do it so why can’t mermaids,” Athena said.
Even the youngest visitors know their mermaid trivia. Briella Aquero is quick to point out that mermaids do not have legs but as she calls them fish tails.
“As an Aquarist here at Ripley’s I have to take care of my tanks and also open the entire aquarium,” Athena said.
She helps feed the animals and makes sure they are healthy as well. It’s a journey to a career that started with a love of all creatures.
“Once I worked with sea animals I don’t want to work with anything else,” Athena said.
That’s exactly the case now, she truly is a part of their world both inside and outside the tank. A mermaid kiss goodbye and a swish of the tail propel her away, creating memories for these little ones is just all in a day’s work