Exhibition in New Zealand Gets New Set of Tiger Teeth



A special Sand Tiger shark-themed exhibition opens at the Mission Bay attraction on December 18.

Kelly Tarlton’s is set to welcome a whole new set of teeth to its repertoire, with five Sand Tiger sharks on their way from Maryland.

Kelly Tarlton’s head curator Andrew Christie says transporting the five predators is a meticulous process.

“As you could imagine, transporting five, live sharks—who weigh an average of 40 kg (88 lbs) and measure up to 2 meters (6.5 ft)—is not as simple as checking in oversized baggage or even relocating the family pooch,” he said. “The health and well-being of the animals has been our top priority throughout the entire operation.”

Following a month-long quarantine period, the sharks were introduced into special freight tanks and loaded aboard a commercial airliner in New York.

“The safe arrival of these wonderful Sand Tiger sharks is thanks to months of careful planning here and in the United States,” Christie said. “We are thrilled that visitors will now have the opportunity to see these fearsome looking predators up close.”

The Sand Tiger sharks have some of the meanest teeth in the animal kingdom, and their fondness for cruising coastal waters had previously earned them the title of “Man Eaters,” but Christie says that is unfounded.

“Sand Tiger sharks, like many shark species, pose little threat to humans when left alone and actually have much more to fear from us than we do from them. We really hope that, as well as marveling over their frightening appearance, visitors to Kelly Tarlton’s will be able to learn more about these amazing predators and begin to understand why their conservation is so important.”

The east-Auckland attraction is also hoping to learn a thing or two about its newest inhabitants. The curatorial team hopes that by studying their behavior they can contribute to the work being carried out by marine biologists.

To welcome the permanent residents, Kelly Tarlton’s will run a Sand Tiger shark-themed exhibition from December 18 through to January 31.