Whale Shark at GA Aquarium Dies...

Discussion in 'Marine Life and Ecosystems' started by erparamedic, Jan 12, 2007.

  1. erparamedic

    erparamedic Vampire Girl......er Dork

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  2. jviehe

    jviehe Scuba Instructor

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    Or maybe it was just natural causes. Fish die unexpectedly in the wild too.
     
  3. erparamedic

    erparamedic Vampire Girl......er Dork

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    That is very true...
     
  4. johnnyseko

    johnnyseko Loggerhead Turtle

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    Or maybe he got tired of swimming around in small circles.

    What a shame....:shakehead
     
  5. Debraw

    Debraw Loggerhead Turtle

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    I watched the CNN video this morning and the exhibit is the size of a football field. That might still not be big enough, but it is big and means the animal would not really be swimming around in small circles. I am sure they kept good care of the animal. I hope we hear the details of the autopsy as much as we hear about the death. :shakehead
     
  6. octotat

    octotat Barracuda

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    I'm sure that there is some serious panic going on at the aquarium until the results of the necropsy determine whether the cause of death could affect the other animals (i.e. parasite, bacteria).
     
  7. eckybay

    eckybay Princess of Dorkness

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    Hopefully it's nothing that can affect the other animals in the tank...
    Too bad to hear of the loss of such an awesome creature, but hopefully something can be learned about them from it.
     
  8. archman

    archman Divemaster

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    Frankly, I'm surprised it lasted this long. This is highly experimental work, so you're going to crack a few eggs. In this case the "eggs" just happen to be REALLY big fish.

    If anybody can work it out, these Atlanta folks can.
     
  9. MtnDiver

    MtnDiver Surface Interval Member

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    Very sad. I visited the aqarium this summer and saw the two whale sharks. They are such magnificent creatures.

    The tank that they are in is massive. I forget how many millions of gallons it is, but they were not just swimming around in tight circles.

    Hopefully the necropsy will reveal that it was something unrelated to being kept in captivity.
     
  10. GA Under Water

    GA Under Water Divemaster

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  11. DiverBeth

    DiverBeth Surface Interval Member

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    I hope they find the cause quickly and it doesn't affect any of the other residents of the tank. Whale sharks are awesome. Last August I was lucky while diving in Hawaii to see one. It was about 25' and hung around for awhile so we all got a good look before it took off.
     
  12. tthirteen

    tthirteen Angel Fish

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    I am certainly not one to advocate keeping animals in captivity, BUT: "Ralph, one of four whale sharks in the only such exhibit outside Asia, arrived at the Georgia Aquarium in June 2005 from Taiwan, where he had been destined to become seafood." (from the OP's article). Also, I believe (correct me if I am wrong) that they found Gasper, the euthanized beluga, in an amusement park exhibit somewhere in Mexico. At least they both were cared for for the remainder of their lives.

    As a side note, I have been to the GA aquarium, and the main tank is FRIGGIN HUGE :)
     
  13. mikerault

    mikerault Photographer

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    Remember the Japanese have kept them for a decade and their experts helped with the Atlanta setup.

    Mike
     
  14. archman

    archman Divemaster

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    Yeah, but didn't they keep them in big outdoor pens or something? I didn't know they'd tried a closed tank with the things...

    But I've been out of the loop before.
     
  15. Vie

    Vie Tech Diver

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    You may be thinking of this:

    http://www.infiltec.com/oki-0902/

    There are aquariums in Japan that keep whale sharks in captivity in tanks (before the Georgia Aquarium):

    Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

    http://www.kaiyukan.com/eng/
    http://www.kaiyukan.com/eng/life/index.htm

    Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium (where manta rays are kept with the whale shark in a 10 x 35 x 27m tank).

    http://www.kaiyouhaku.com/en/
     
  16. Kim

    Kim Here for my friends..... ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Yes. I saw a documentary on the Okinawa Churaumi aquarium....it's huge. It's got the biggest single pane viewing window in the world. They have three whale sharks...already for a few years now. They're really hoping that they're happy enough that they'll breed. That's never been done yet in captivity. The mantas and stuff in the same aquarium are already breeding OK.
     
  17. GA Under Water

    GA Under Water Divemaster

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    I was never impressed by GA Aquarium. Chattanooga was better IMO. Sure GA is Huge but you have Very little "window time" unlike TN that has a 5 story one that you see the whole time walking down a square spiral ramp.

    One of the Belugas had a weird story, He was rescued from the Pond under a Roller Coaster in Mexico where he was being kept. Can't remember if it was Gasper or not.
     
  18. drbill

    drbill The Lorax for the Kelp Forest

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    Football field sized tanks create very small circles compared to their natural habitat. While whale sharks may not be quite as charismatic as marine mammals to some, I think this is sad... but not unexpected IMHO.
     
  19. CBulla

    CBulla ~..facebook conch..~ ScubaBoard Supporter

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    sooooooo.. what are they going to do with the carcass after the nacropsy? It's to big to flush... right?

    Also.. I wonder how the body was found.. like.... was it floating around upside down like other fish?
     
  20. ClayJar

    ClayJar ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    The body will be cremated and the ashes buried in an animal cemetary.

    The whale shark stopped swimming and was resting on the bottom, at which point they knew something was quite seriously wrong.

    As for Gaspar, yes, he was one of the two that came from under the roller coaster in Mexico. He suffered from skin conditions, osteomyelitis, and other problems, and in the end, they were unable to improve his condition.
     

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