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Shark dies in captivity

June 28, 2005|Scott Doggett

A white shark died in captivity this month because authorities held the big fish too long in a swimming pool-size holding tank in San Pedro, Monterey Bay Aquarium officials say.

Fishermen off Huntington Beach netted the 5-foot, 60-pound female on June 13. Crews placed it in a 14,000-gallon tank for two days while a giant holding pen was transported from Mexico to Malibu, says aquarium spokesman Ken Petterson.

But delays slowed arrival of the big pen, so the shark swam continuously without rest in the smaller pen for four days, burning up fat and glycogen, says aquarium veterinarian Michael Murray.

"She ran out of gas," Murray says.

By the time crews placed it in the big pen, the shark was no longer eating. It died the next day. Aquarium officials say an eye injury prevented them from releasing the fish.

Earlier this year, the aquarium released a juvenile white shark after six months in captivity at the Monterey aquarium.

Scott Doggett

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