Shark Transfer At The Oklahoma Aquarium

Wednesday, November 8th 2006, 10:37 am
By: News On 6

Employees went swimming with the sharks at the Oklahoma Aquarium on Wednesday. Transferring a dozen young sharks into the main tank with the seven existing ones.

As news on 6 reporter Rick Wells explains, it was an operation that required considerable teamwork.

Visitors to the Oklahoma Aquarium in Jenks got a little something extra to look at in the big shark tank, more sharks. Aquarium curator John Money: "we are adding black tips today and we are adding baby bull sharks today."

They went to the Gulf and caught the baby sharks in the summers of 2003 and 2005. Since then, they been in a big holding tank in the quarantine building, getting bigger so they could be safely moved. "Hopefully they'll go in, they're seen as tank mates and not a snack."

That is what this operation is all about, getting a dozen sharks from one tank to another tank safely and quickly one at a time. Biologist Christa Clawson and her team get in the tank to corral a shark. The idea is to get it into a special net. Each one is quickly weighed and measured, then into a portable tank for a wild ride to the other end of the building and the exhibit tank.

There is a net separating the older sharks from the new ones in the main tank. Once all the sharks are in the tank, the net will be removed. Rick Wells: "So when you come in tomorrow and turn the lights on you're gonna count sharks." Christa Clawson: "Yeah that's exactly what we're gonna do." 19 is the number they'll be hoping for.

The Oklahoma Aquarium will have a crew on duty all night in case there are problems. The older bull sharks weigh more than 300 pounds. The new sharks they put in Wednesday only weigh 35 to 50 pounds.