If you thought sharks were scary enough, you may be shocked and a little bit disturbed to hear about what staff members at a Japanese aquarium found in one of their shark tanks during a regular morning check up.
At around 11 o’clock in the morning at Aqua World Aquarium in Oarai, Japan, a staff member approached a large shark tank which held a 1.6 meter whitetip reef shark and a 2.8 meter sand tiger shark. The staff member was horrified to see that the sand tiger shark was attempting to eat the smaller shark.
As the staff member watched in horror, it became obvious that the sand tiger shark was having trouble biting through the thickness of the whitetip reef shark’s hard skin. The shark gave up and instead attempted to swallow the smaller shark whole, but was not able to swallow it because of its size. After a lengthy 40 minute struggle in which the sand tiger shark tried desperately to swallow the whitetip whole, it finally spat the mutilated shark out.
Staff members tried to save the mauled whitetip, but it had been so badly attacked and bitten that it could not recover from its injuries and later died.
Staff members later revealed that there had been concerns about the shark’s recent lack of appetite.
“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,” an Aqua World spokesperson said.
The two sharks had been sharing a tank for some time before the incident, and staff members noticed that the sand tiger shark had not been eating regularly for weeks prior to the incident. The park is investigating but hopes that guests will still continue to visit the shark exhibit.