JENKS, Okla. – The Oklahoma Aquarium has added a new shark to its fish family—a zebra shark.
This is the eighth shark species on display at the aquarium and the first of its kind on exhibit.
“The zebra shark is found in tropical waters, and we built the new coral reef habitat with this shark in mind,” says Deputy Director John Money. “These sharks are community friendly and will coexist with its tank mates.”
The zebra shark hatched last year in November and has already grown to four feet and nine inches in length, weighing nearly 30 pounds.
Zebra sharks get their name from their black and white stripes at birth, which mimics the appearance of a poisonous sea snake. As they grow and have fewer predators, their stripes change to brown and tan spots. However, the zebra shark is currently listed as “endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
“The zebra shark is hunted for its meat, fins, and liver oil, making it an important animal for educating the public and encouraging its protection worldwide,” Money says.
Guests can find the new zebra shark on display in the Polynesian Reef, which opened to the public last fall.