Wednesday, 03. September 2014
02. 05. 14. - 15:00
Staff at a Japanese aquarium were shocked when one of the star shark exhibits started eating a fellow shark.
The tiger shark at the Aqua World aquarium in the town of Oarai, in central Japan's Ibaraki Prefecture, had been worrying staff by its lack of interest in its food. But that changed when it decided to make a fellow tank inhabitant breakfast.
A caretaker doing his early morning rounds saw that the nine-foot long sand tiger shark had begun biting the whitetip reef shark almost half its size.
After trying several times to bite a chunk out of its smaller relative and failing because of its thick skin, the shark gave up and tried to swallow the smaller shark whole.
The bemused caretaker witnessed a titanic 40 minute struggle between the predators of the deep before the tiger shark gave up the fight, and spat out his prey in disgust.
Staff managed to rescue the half-dead whitetip and pull it to safety, but it was so badly mauled by the tiger shark it died from its wounds.
"In light of this event, we will be further increasing the effort we make when judging which sharks to place in the same tanks, taking into account their relative size and possible hostilities," a spokesperson for the aquarium said.
In the meantime, Aqua World hopes visitors "will continue to support the facility and its Sea of Sharks exhibit".
(will be approved by an editor before going online)
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