Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Our bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas), the only one on display in the western United States, will be moving to a new home out of state soon. She is outgrowing her current habitat in Shark Lagoon.
These fascinating sharks are unique in many ways. They have a massive and stocky appearance in comparison to the streamlined look of most other sharks because their body is wider relative to their length. They live in salt water but can spend long periods of time in freshwater. They have been found 3000 km (1864 mi) up the Mississippi River in Illinois. Bull sharks along with great whites and tiger sharks are implicated in unprovoked fatal attacks worldwide. They are considered more dangerous by many because their preferred habitats include river mouths or shallow coastal areas where there is human activity.
It seems like yesterday that she first arrived at the Aquarium of the Pacific. At that time, she was approximately .6 m (2 ft) in length and almost shy. She spent her first 30 days with us in quarantine. This is normal procedure for all of our new animals to make sure they do not introduce any parasites or disease into their new habitat. She didn’t want to eat if anyone was watching so a device was rigged up to hang the food into the water so she could eat alone. Of course we were watching and yes, she caught us looking! After her quarantine period, she was placed in the exhibit. She has acclimated well. She did get her pectoral fin bitten a while back but it is all healed with no scar. Maturing and well on her way to an average length of 2.4 m (8 ft), she will soon need a larger habitat. When she does move, I will miss watching her cruise around Shark Lagoon.
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