Newport Aquarium is ready to celebrate its annual "Shark Summer" series of events, and its kicking things off with the arrival of two new sandbar sharks — the first time this species has been at the aquarium in eight years.
“It’s exciting to present these new sharks to our guests,” says Kelly Sowers, Newport Aquarium’s general curator, in a release “They’re fascinating to watch up-close and give us the opportunity to teach people about the value of sharks. Protecting a vulnerable species like this is so important.”
The sharks were born at a sister aquarium in Camden, New Jersey in October 2018. They are currently 3-and-a-half feet long and will grow to be 8-feet-long and weigh 200 pounds. The notably fast swimmers will be on view in the Surrounded by Sharks tunnel, or visitors can see them from above as they cross the world's first Shark Bridge, a 75-foot-long suspension bridge hovering above a 385,000-gallon shark tank.
Newport Aquarium is also inviting guests to submit name ideas for these two new additions.
Shark Summer, which runs May 28-Sept. 12, is meant to help visitors get to know this frequently misunderstood species with exhibits and events. The aquarium will be hosting "in-depth storytelling" about their sharks from around the world. Guests can also touch sharks in Shark Central.
"There’s perhaps no other fish that captures the human imagination like sharks," says the aquarium. "Bringing about feelings ranging from fascination to fear, you can’t help but feel the power of these animals."
Visit newportaquarium.com for the latest COVID safety precautions and to buy tickets.
Newport Aquarium is located at Newport on the Levee, Newport, Kentucky.