Sibling sharks shipped off to UK

2015-11-06 21:41
(Kaveel Singh, News24)

(Kaveel Singh, News24)

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Durban – Two ragged-toothed sharks born in South Africa will spend the rest of their lives at a marine aquarium in the United Kingdom.

The two sharks, which are siblings, were shipped off to the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth last week.

The 2-year-old female, Storm, and 8-month-old Tony, were both born at the uShaka Marine World in Durban.

In a statement this week, director for education at the South African Association for Marine Biological Research, Jone Porter, said the sharks would be living in a special aquarium. The aquarium would be the first in the UK to focus on education, conservation and research.

The siblings cannot be accommodated in an uShaka Sea World exhibit because they are too small to be kept with the large predators. However, they are large enough to reduce the fish populations in the other exhibits, Porter said.

Porter said Storm and Tony were loaded into tanks and, with documents from the South African state veterinarian, were taken to OR Tambo International Airport - the first leg of their journey.

"Because Storm and Tony were born in captivity, they are valuable to science.

"Although South Africa has a healthy population of ragged-tooth sharks, the species is considered to be vulnerable to over-exploitation because of their late maturity, between 7 and 10 years, depending on gender, and [because of] particularly small litters – only two pups."

She said the sharks' development would be monitored to gain further knowledge about the species.

"Their presence would also educate visitors to the aquarium about the importance of marine conservation," said Porter.

To honour their South African roots, Storm and Tony have been renamed uShaka and Mandela respectively.

Read more on:    ushaka marine world  |  durban  |  uk  |  marine life

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