Newport Aquarium Kicks Off Shark Summer with New Sharks

June 24, 2024

Shan the Shark Ray and Zebra Sharks Join Diverse Collection

Newport, Ky. (June 24, 2024)— Newport Aquarium announced today that Shark Summer is off to a thrilling start as it welcomes two new zebra sharks and a young shark ray to its Surrounded by Sharks exhibit. Visitors will be able to watch these amazing animals explore their new home while learning what makes sharks so unique and so important to the health of ocean ecosystems. The zebra sharks and shark ray are just a few of the dozens of shark and ray species visitors will discover during a very special Shark Summer as Newport Aquarium continues to celebrate its 25th anniversary year.

Surprisingly, it isn’t stripes that set the new zebra sharks apart – it’s their spots! One of the many things that visitors will learn during Shark Summer is zebra sharks are originally born with stripes. Adults lose those stripes as they mature and become spotted to camouflage among corals. Both male zebra sharks are around 2-years-old and gracefully swim through the 385,000-gallon exhibit, sometimes resting on the bottom of the sandy floor where visitors can take a closer look at theirlarge rounded teeth that allow these sharks to crush their food. Visitors during Shark Summer can watch this endangered species grow alongside the newly-arrived, shark ray named Shan.

Born in Taiwan, Shan is a young and energetic shark ray that Newport Aquarium’s Animal Care Team named after one of her original caretakers. Shan the shark ray has thrived after being born under human care with help from Newport Aquarium’s world-renowned research on these rare and critically endangered animals. The spunky shark ray joins two other shark rays, a female named Sunshine and a male named Scooter. Shan will continue providing valuable information to the aquarium’s biologists and beyond that could help save her species.

“Shark Summer is a fun way to share our love for all things shark. It’s inspiring to see people learn something new from the animals we care for every day,” said Newport Aquarium’s General Curator Kelly Sowers, “I’m looking forward to seeing Shan and the new zebra sharks connect with guests all summer long.”

The fun of Shark Summer is experienced throughout the aquarium where thrill seekers can interact with dozens of sharks – some of which you can touch in Shark Central. Each species in this exhibit has a different texture and pattern, making it unforgettable for visitors as they face their fears and challenge common misconceptions about sharks. Visitors can even take a peek into the Shark Nursery to see the fascinating differences between several types of shark eggs.  But the ultimate Shark Summer adventure is crossing the world’s first Shark Bridge, a rope bridge suspended just inches above a tank full of sharks.

In honor of its 25th anniversary, the aquarium is offering two additional months for free when visitors get a Gold or Platinum Membership. The offer allows members to enjoy two summers of fun with just one pass and is available through August 4, 2024.  Shark Summer at Newport Aquarium runs through September 8, 2024 and is included with general admission or membership. For more information about Shark Summer, advance tickets and memberships, visit

Newport Aquarium, named one of the top ten U.S. aquariums in USA Today’s and one of the top U.S. aquariums by Leisure Group Travel, has showcased thousands of animals from around the world in a million gallons of water since 1999. Named a top U.S. aquarium by US City Traveler and Destinations Travel Magazine, and also by Travel Channel, Newport Aquarium is a Herschend Family Entertainment company and an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Newport Aquarium is located across the Ohio River from downtown Cincinnati at Newport on the Levee.


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