August 12, 2016

Sand Tiger Sharks Make Their Move


(Pittsburgh) (August 2016)— This weekend is the last chance to see our sand tiger sharks before they make their move to a new home.

In a partnership between the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium and Georgia Aquarium, the sharks will be moving as part of a research program that will help us to understand this vulnerable species.

“Learning as much as we can about sand tiger sharks is a great benefit for their wild populations,’ cousins,” says Dwayne Biggs, Curator of Aquatic Life at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, “Especially regarding their breeding behaviors. Sand tigers sharks are listed as vulnerable because of low reproductive rates. Females can only reproduce every two to three years and their young have a high mortality rate.”

On the day of departure, each shark will carefully be placed in a specially designed shark transport truck with life support systems.

Once they arrive at their destination at Neptune Park, Marineland Florida, a facility owned by Georgia Aquarium, the sharks will be introduced to the new outdoor tanks filtered with seawater. “Seawater and natural daily fluctuations encourages breeding behaviors which will be observed and studied,” says Biggs. “If what we learn can better help us to understand and assist wild populations, we will have a chance to take a major step forward in conservation efforts.”

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