Sea Life Sunshine Coast has welcomed three Grey Nurse Sharks back to the Sunshine State, becoming the only tourist attraction in Queensland to house the endangered species.
The trio – Pallas, Huey and Patches – were recently transported more than 1,000 kilometres from Manly Sea Life Sanctuary to Sea Life Sunshine Coast, and have since settled into their new homes swimmingly.
The team at Sea Life Sunshine Coast has extensive experience in breeding and caring for Grey Nurse Sharks, and in 1997 became one of the first aquariums to breed the species. To this day, the attraction remains the most successful aquarium in the world for Grey Nurse Shark breeding.
After more than six months of planning, the construction of custom shark-friendly stretchers and a specialised mobile aquarium, Pallas, Huey and Patches were individually transported and gradually acclimatised to their new surroundings.
Sea Life Sunshine Coast Curator, Kate Willson, said all three sharks have settled into the attraction well and are happy cruising around their new homes.
“It’s very rewarding to see how quickly Pallas, Huey and Patches have settled into their new home and we’re excited to have them back on Queensland turf.
“Once they have had more time to settle, the plan is to introduce them to our breeding program in a bid to help boost population numbers for the endangered species.”
Sea Life Sunshine General Manager, Quinn Clarke, said a lot of planning went into the transportation of each animal and it’s a historical time as they return home to Queensland.
“Not only is it an exciting time for the attraction with the arrival of our new shark trio, but it’s also a very exciting time for the region to have Queensland’s only Grey Nurse Sharks in the Sunshine Coast,” said Mr Clarke.
Having now found their fins with their new home and tank-mates, Pallas, Huey and Patches are ready to make their public debut, and are welcoming locals to officially meet and greet them to the community! The trio will also serve as ambassadors for the endangered species, and through daily education talks, the public can learn about the threats they face in the wild, and get to know each of the sharks’ fin-tastic personalities!