Saturday, November 07, 2009

Monterey Bay Aquarium released another Great White shark

A great white shark was released back into the wild at Monterey Bay on Wednesday after spending nearly three months at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.The release marks the fifth time the aquarium has successfully exhibited and released a great white shark.
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Aquarium staff released the young, female shark in offshore waters near the southern tip of Monterey Bay just after sunrise.The shark had been collected on Aug. 12 near Malibu after it got caught in fishing nets.Images: Great White Shark Released Into WildIn 50 years of attempts worldwide, the Monterey Bay Aquarium remains the only institution to have a great white shark on exhibit for more than 16 days and then successfully return the animal to the ocean.“I’ve always said that these animals will tell us when it’s time to put them back to the ocean. Now was clearly the time,” said Randy Hamilton, vice president of husbandry for the aquarium. “Her health is excellent, and we learned a lot while she was with us. Based on past experience, we have every expectation that she’ll do well after release.”The shark grew from 5 feet 3 inches and just under 80 pounds to 5 feet 5 inches and 100 pounds during its time on exhibit at the aquarium.During Halloween weekend, the shark received a bite wound and was observed chasing scalloped hammerhead sharks in the exhibit. A Galapagos shark was bitten and injured by the great white, Hamilton said. “We monitor the behavior of great white sharks very closely while they’re on exhibit,” he said. “When we saw a new pattern of aggressive behavior, we decided it was best to release her.”The exhibit of great white sharks at the aquarium is part of an effort to raise awareness and change attitudes toward the ocean predators, aquarium officials said.


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