Reporting Jessica Kartalija
BALTIMORE (WJZ)—A celebration some would call a little fishy. The National Aquarium in Baltimore hits a major milestone.
Jessica Kartalija has details on all of the festivities.
It’s always Shark Week at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, where the famous circular tanks are the most popular attraction.
“Scares me to death but the coolest thing ever,” said Christine Neubauer, Erie, Pa.
We went behind the scenes for a little lunch with the sharks. They’re very much ambush predators. They’ll see it, and then they’ll chomp.
At 30 years old, the National Aquarium was one of the first in the age of aquariums.
“We knew early on that folks would be dying to see sharks,” said Andy Dehart, director of fishes and aquatic invertebrates.
Dehart is also an advisor on sharks for the Discovery Channel.
“I got excited about sharks at age 5, and one of the things that helped me stay excited about sharks was getting to go to aquariums at a very young age,” Dehart said.
Now he gets to clear up myths about sharks.
“They’re certainly not eating machines,” Dehart said. “Sharks have a very slow metabolism. People are surprised that most sharks only eat about 5 percent of their body weight a week, probably about 5 pounds.”
When it comes to feeding, these guys “believe it or not, the sharks can get a little picky,” said Alan Henningsen, Baltimore Aquarium.
Henningsen, a marine biologist and shark expert, took us along to pick up the catch of the day at the Broadway Market. On the menu: “the sawfish tend to like striped bass, bronzini and porghi. Sandbar sharks right now like salmon filet,” Henningsen said.
The aquarium didn’t have to go far to find its sharks. Many were tagged and collected in the Delaware Bay.
“The few animals we do take out of the wild to live here are very comfortable in the aquarium,” Dehart said.
And visitors couldn’t be more thrilled to see them.
“To be able to be this close to the wildlife is incredible, and I live next to a lake, so this is really great,” Neubauer said.
For details on the events at the aquarium, click here.