Whale Shark at GA Aquarium Dies... [Archive] - ScubaBoard - Scuba Diving Forum - Diving Social Network

View Full Version : Whale Shark at GA Aquarium Dies...


Sponsored Link

erparamedic
January 12th, 2007, 10:06 AM
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070112/ap_on_sc/whale_shark_dies


I wonder if they'll decide that they can't keep whale sharks in captivity...

It will be interesting to find out the cause of death. Once known... I hope they use the info wisely.

jviehe
January 12th, 2007, 10:10 AM
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070112/ap_on_sc/whale_shark_dies


I wonder if they'll decide that they can't keep whale sharks in captivity...

It will be interesting to find out the cause of death. Once known... I hope they use the info wisely.
Or maybe it was just natural causes. Fish die unexpectedly in the wild too.

erparamedic
January 12th, 2007, 10:15 AM
Or maybe it was just natural causes. Fish die unexpectedly in the wild too.

That is very true...

johnnyseko
January 12th, 2007, 10:40 AM
Or maybe he got tired of swimming around in small circles.

What a shame....:shakehead

Debraw
January 12th, 2007, 12:16 PM
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

octotat
January 12th, 2007, 12:23 PM
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).

eckybay
January 12th, 2007, 12:32 PM
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.

archman
January 12th, 2007, 01:12 PM
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.

MtnDiver
January 12th, 2007, 01:56 PM
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.

GA Under Water
January 12th, 2007, 02:06 PM
So they have lost Casper and one of the whale sharks in the last month. :(

http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/stories/2007/01/02/0102whale.html

DiverBeth
January 12th, 2007, 03:28 PM
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.

tthirteen
January 12th, 2007, 03:55 PM
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 :)

mikerault
January 13th, 2007, 12:14 AM
Remember the Japanese have kept them for a decade and their experts helped with the Atlanta setup.

Mike

archman
January 13th, 2007, 12:28 AM
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.

Vie
January 17th, 2007, 02:54 AM
Yeah, but didn't they keep them in big outdoor pens or something?

You may be thinking of this:

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


I didn't know they'd tried a closed tank with the things...

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/

Kim
January 17th, 2007, 02:59 AM
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.

GA Under Water
January 17th, 2007, 03:24 AM
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.

drbill
January 17th, 2007, 04:17 AM
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.

CBulla
January 17th, 2007, 01:51 PM
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?

ClayJar
January 17th, 2007, 02:33 PM
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.

CheddarChick
January 17th, 2007, 03:11 PM
How sad....

divefreaky
January 17th, 2007, 03:18 PM
keep in mind the aquariums in asia have 3 whale sharks in captivity for 10+ years in a tank half the size as the one in atlanta.

Dustinh
January 22nd, 2007, 05:12 PM
Is captivity wonderful? No, probably not, but lots of animals live longer in captivity than the wild, and sometimes, temporary captivity can help save the lives of endangered sea creatures. I think that something as big as a whale shark, which clearly roams THOUSANDS of miles of ocean a year maybe isn't the best animal to keep in a tank, but unfortunately it's how we learn about the world.

dlwalke
January 22nd, 2007, 05:27 PM
Is captivity wonderful? No, probably not, but lots of animals live longer in captivity than the wild, and sometimes, temporary captivity can help save the lives of endangered sea creatures. I think that something as big as a whale shark, which clearly roams THOUSANDS of miles of ocean a year maybe isn't the best animal to keep in a tank, but unfortunately it's how we learn about the world.

Its nearly impossible to know how or if a fish consciously processes quality of life issues vis-a-vis tank size. At some point, I assume, tank size can affect health for specific physiological reasons but above that, I personally doubt that a fish gets the blues (in any sort of conscious way) from not having a big enough area to swim around in. For the belugas however, I suspect it may be a different story (i.e., - I would not be surprised if they get bored). Still, Gasper was in a much better situation in Atlanta compared to the Mexican amusement park.

dlwalke
January 22nd, 2007, 05:31 PM
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.

Its partly a matter of emphasis. I tend to agree about the GA Aquarium vs Chattanooga, but the GA Aquarium is getting better IMO. The GA aquarium kind of goes for the gee-whiz factor whereas Chattanooga seems to have more, but smaller exhibits (e.g., a whole section dedicated to numerous turtle species), more signage, and a bit more of a local emphasis. Some people probably prefer the gee-whiz (i.e., big) stuff though.

rawls
January 22nd, 2007, 07:46 PM
I think this is sad... but not unexpected IMHO

Agreed...

fisherdvm
January 27th, 2007, 10:43 AM
I commend them for trying to keep the shark in captivity for even 1 year. That is a tremendous investion (probably in the millions of dollar).

The data gathered from it - including the necropsy (autopsy on animals) - would be well worth it.

We have to remember that it is captive breeding that saved the black footed ferret and the whooping crane from extinction. If we had done it earlier for passenger pigeons, it might have saved them too.

Sponsored Link

Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1