Sand Tiger Sharks to Debut by Thanksgiving
Georgia Aquarium is excited to announce the arrival of six new sand tiger sharks. The sharks are currently located at the Aquarium’s offsite quarantine facility and will be introduced into the Ocean Voyager gallery built by The Home Depot before Thanksgiving.
The three male and three female sharks will go into the 6.3 million gallon habitat alongside the whale sharks and manta ray. The new sharks range from five to more than eight feet in length and weigh between 56 and 237 pounds.
“These sharks are big and display a mouthful of sharp teeth, so we know that they will become a new guest favorite,” said Mike Leven, CEO of Georgia Aquarium. “Even though they are scary looking to some, we are excited to introduce them to our guests as the docile species they are, and spread the word on their declining numbers due to overfishing.”
The sand tiger shark (Carcharias taurus) is listed as “vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List. The sand tiger shark is caught for human consumption, as well as for fishmeal and liver oil, and the fins are used for leather production. The species has the lowest reproductive rate among sharks, giving birth every two years to one or two pups after a gestation period of 9 to 12 months.
According to an independent Harris Poll, 17% of men and 13% of women said that sharks were their favorite aquatic animal. The Georgia Aquarium currently houses whale sharks, zebra sharks, black-tip reef sharks, tasseled wobbegongs, great hammerhead, bonnethead sharks, bamboo sharks, brown-banded bamboo sharks, white-spotted bamboo sharks, epaulette sharks, swell sharks, horn sharks and now sand tiger sharks.
The sand tiger sharks are a part of the Aquarium’s New Every Ninety Program, designed to bring a new animal, exhibit or program to the Aquarium every quarter. In August, the Aquarium introduced the Titanic Aquatic exhibit, which has seen 50,000 visitors, as well as Nandi, the first manta ray in a U.S. Aquarium, to kick-off the New Every Ninety Program.
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