Audubon Aquarium of the Americas has announced the addition of its newest resident to the Gulf of Mexico exhibit. Caroline, a 3-year-old sand tiger shark, arrived on Nov. 5 from the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher.
The sand tiger shark is listed as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List and is a candidate for the U.S. Endangered Species list, according to the Aquarium. Although sand tiger populations are found all over the world, they have one of the lowest reproduction rates of all sharks, giving birth to one or two large pups every two years.
“In our waters, sand tigers are a protected species due to vulnerable status in the wild,” said Audubon Aquarium Acting Director of Husbandry James Arnold.
“Audubon Aquarium not only educates the public about the wonders of nature, but we also play a part in a species survival plan for sand tigers that concentrates on captive breeding efforts.”
Caroline weighs approximately 90 pounds and measures 5 feet in length. Guests are marveling at her smooth gracefulness and petite size. Visitors can now observe the juvenile shark acclimate to her new home in the 400,000-gallon exhibit, surrounded by other sharks, schools of fish, sting rays and sea turtles.