Great white shark dies after 16 days in captivity

SAN DIEGO -- Sea World's great white shark died Tuesday after 16 record-breaking days in captivity, despite attempts to save it through force feeding, a spokeswoman for the marine park announced.

The 5 -foot, 100 pound shark, caught Aug. 3 by a fisherman off La Jolla, never ate on its own during its captivity and for the past week had shown signs of having difficulty swimming.


'A complete necropsy and pathological examination have begun,' said Sea World spokeswoman Jackie O'Connor.

During its captivity, in which the shark was placed on public view in the park's 400,000 gallon shark exhibit, 'biologists and researchers compiled significant new data on great white shark behavior, physiology and medicine,' she said.

The great white, largest predator in the shark family, set a record on Aug. 7 for surviving longer in captivity than any other great white, surpassing the previous mark of 96 hours, also set at Sea World in 1976.

Last week, after the shark had refused repeated feedings, scientists began a program in which the big fish was injected with nutrients.

'We had also placed mackeral in its mouth, which it swallowed,' Ms. O'Connor said.


The shark was removed from the main tank on Monday when it showed signs of failing and was placed in a holding tank. The great white was put back into the exhibit tank with 19 other sharks of various species Tuesday morning when it died.

'Even though the shark died, it still has great significance for us,' she said. 'It has given researchers an opportunity to study a great white for a longer time than they ever had before.'

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