White Shark Released
March 31, 2005 1:41 PM   Subscribe

White Shark Released from Monterey Bay Aquarium after six months in captivity. In the last week, aquarists noted several incidents of what they considered to be active hunting of other exhibit animals, and they became substantially more concerned about the well-being of the other fishes. She was not released because of any injury or health problem. At the time of her release, she was 6'-4" long and weighed 162 pounds.
posted by rodo (19 comments total)
I'm surprised the shark lasted that long in captivity in the first place!
posted by Robot Johnny at 1:47 PM on March 31, 2005

Me too!

...no other great white has stayed alive for more than 16 days in captivity.
posted by Specklet at 1:50 PM on March 31, 2005

I'm glad she was returned to the wild. There are some wild things that should never be caged, and sharks are definitely one of them.

Swim free, live long.
posted by Sharktattoo at 2:17 PM on March 31, 2005

Tell me, did it have a laser mounted on its head?
posted by zanpo at 2:17 PM on March 31, 2005

And what beach did they let her go at?
posted by jfuller at 2:20 PM on March 31, 2005

Hmm, they were concerned that the GREAT WHITE SHARK was hunting other fishies.

Well, I'm glad she's out there too - although I would appreciate an answer to jfuller's query....
>++>+D <---some fishbones for u
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 2:25 PM on March 31, 2005

...6'-4" long and weighed 162 pounds.

Not exactly a GREAT white, I daresay.
posted by spazzm at 2:27 PM on March 31, 2005

I am glad I went to the Aquarium week-end before last and saw her. It was interesting to see how all the other fish in the tank avoided her. She swam near the top, all the tuna were at the bottom. The sea turtle in the tank hung out near the bottom, but had to surface for air. In between breaths her was watching her. Even the barracuda were always on the opposite side of the tank.

The tank is massive, but still a bit small for that large of a predator. The shark seemed a little restless although my knowledge of great white behavior is practically zero. But 90 bazillion children banging on the glass and making a general racket probably didn't help much.
posted by Badgermann at 2:27 PM on March 31, 2005

I took Tuesday off work to go see her, but instead we spent all day looking for our missing cat. Oh well. It's good they let her go.
posted by belling at 2:57 PM on March 31, 2005

I am pretty pleased I got a couple of chances to go down and see her while she was still around.

She may not have been the biggest Great White but she swam around those other fish like she knew she was the baddest mofo in the tank.

Don't believe me?
Check her out.

Badgerman, yeah, the banging on the glass was bad but I understand the flash's from all the picture taking (mine above was taken without a flash, thankyouverymuch) actually hurts the shark.
posted by fenriq at 2:58 PM on March 31, 2005

jfuller & BlackLeotardFront ~
"Aquarium staff released the shark in the offshore waters south of Monterey Bay" ... not released next to any specific beach, but I am sure she would have no problem swimming to any beach between San Francisco and Monterey.
posted by rodo at 3:00 PM on March 31, 2005

The sea turtle in the tank hung out near the bottom, but had to surface for air.
From a previous post on the Internet. The sea turtles were the only animals not being hunted by the shark. When the shark was first placed it in the tank, the thinking was the shark may eat the smaller fish until they noticed larger fish & sharks missing everyday. Because as posted earlier; no other great white had lived so long in captivity.
posted by thomcatspike at 3:21 PM on March 31, 2005

I posted something about this awhile ago before they attempted it (as my first FPP, incidentally). I hadn't really thought about it for quite some time and didn't know they'd attempted it (successfully). I've always been overly curious about sharks and am rather jealous of everyone that got a chance to see her. Thanks for the photo, fenriq--it's better than nothing ;)
posted by The God Complex at 3:24 PM on March 31, 2005

from second link: "Aquarium officials believe the 88-pound, 5-foot-3-inch shark attacked the smaller, slower animals only as a reflex when it bumped the other sharks, not in a predatory rage."

A hell of a guy to bump into, he must be.
posted by koeselitz at 5:31 PM on March 31, 2005

I am glad they let her go, but I am very upset with myself for not making the trip to see her. I kept putting it off, even though I knew they could release her any day. On a side note (I'm to lazy to see if this was ever reported on here) the hammerhead shark that was in the Mandalay Bay aquarium in Las Vegas died a couple of months ago. If my memory serves she was the only, or maybe the largest, hammerhead in captivity.
posted by HSWilson at 6:59 PM on March 31, 2005

I took Tuesday off work to go see her, but instead we spent all day looking for our missing cat.

OK, on the count of three, everybody start humming that thing from Jaws.
posted by mono blanco at 7:07 PM on March 31, 2005

I was glad to be released from The Presidio of Monterey DLI after 11 months.

The aquarium scenes in Star Trek IV were filmed at the Monterey Aquarium. The aquarium also has nice music, which some other aquariums do not. The fish in the aquarium eat a higher grade of seafood than is served in the local restaurants.

It is vaguely amusing that the shark ended up eating the other fish, I am surprised they kept it so long.
posted by buzzman at 9:12 PM on March 31, 2005

Here's the SF Chron staff story.
posted by vporter at 10:18 PM on March 31, 2005

Great White Sharks are SO COOL. The Ultimate Predators, IMO. Great pix -- great story. Like others, I'm amazed that this one lasted so long in captivity. I remember a documentary piece a few years ago that featured a small GWS that was kept (IIRC) at the same aquarium -- and when they released it into the ocean, the shark expert said, "That's one happy white shark!"

Slightly O/T: I seem to recall that there once was a person who offered a large sum of money to anyone who could arrange a "cage match" between a Great White Shark and a Grizzly Bear -- the cage would be in water just deep enough to allow the shark to move about, but not so deep that the bear wouldn't be able to stand. Logic aside, who do you think would win - the shark or the bear? My money is on the shark, no doubt.
posted by davidmsc at 7:13 PM on April 1, 2005

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