November 02, 2022
Newport, KY (November 2, 2022) Newport Aquarium is now home to three new sand tiger sharks! Visitors and staff are excited to welcome their new finned friends, two males and one female, as they show off their nearly seven-foot-long frames and wide, toothy grins in the Surrounded by Sharks Exhibit. The aquarium also announced a limited-time offer where annual pass purchasers get two additional months free, meaning 14 months to visit with the new sharks instead of the normal 12.
Sand tiger sharks may look a little intimidating at first glance, but they are known to be relatively docile, eating mainly fish, lobster, and some rays. They can often be found in shallow bays and inshore tropical waters and have even been spotted circling shipwrecks off the coast of the Eastern United States. Like many sharks, rising seas, shark finning and other man-made problems are posing a threat to their existence. This threat is elevated by their lower rates of reproduction, leaving them vulnerable worldwide and critically endangered in some parts of the world.
The sand tiger sharks join several other species including the black tip reef sharks and beloved shark rays, Sweet Pea, Sunshine and Scooter. Just like many of their tankmates, the three new sharks will play an important role as animal ambassadors for their species, making a difference at home and around the world.
Newport Aquarium, in partnership with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, will be studying the sand tiger shark species to help contribute to global education and conservation efforts. The aquarium and sand tiger sharks are part of AZA’s Species Survival Plan, which allows biologists to learn and share information about the animals and aid in sustainable reproduction. Newport Aquarium General Curator, Kelly Sowers says her team is eager to participate on the SSP efforts of another amazing species. “We are thrilled and humbled to care for these sharks and help scientists around the world make sure these beautiful creatures survive and thrive on earth,” said Sowers.
Newport Aquarium is asking for your help in finding the perfect names for the new sharks! The aquarium is accepting name submissions for the two males and one female now through the end of the year. To submit your name suggestions, get tickets and to learn more about the two-extra-months-free offer on annual passes, head to NewportAquarium.com.