Four large new sharks to become star attraction at Dingle aquarium

 

FOUR SAND tiger sharks have been a delivered to Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium, arriving in holding tanks and lifted by hand into the existing shark tanks where smaller species swam for cover.

The four sand tigers are originally from South Africa and have been bought from a Dutch company.

They include a fully grown male and female measuring up to 8ft in length and two not quite fully grown males at 6ft.

The four with their ragged teeth will be a star attraction at the Kerry facility, marine expert and a director of Dingle aquarium, Kevin Flannery, said yesterday.

Although sand tigers are threatening-looking, they rarely attack unless provoked and are in fact a threatened species which survives well in captivity. In the wild, the fish-eating sand tiger sharks live for up to 15 years.

Mr Flannery said the aquarium, founded in 1996, had planned a major extension this year, but this had to be postponed because of the lack of funding from various State agencies as well as the uncertainty surrounding tourism.

Attractions in Dingle such as Oceanworld and the Fungi dolphin boats were down by up to 20 per cent so far this year, he said.

The sharks cost the aquarium €100,000 to buy and display, but it is hoped they will help maintain the aquarium’s annual visitor numbers of 100,000 people in the current downturn, Mr Flannery said.

“This is the only place in Ireland with big sharks.”