Zebra sharks now on display at Wildlife World Aquarium

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The Valley's new aquarium keeps changing with new animals and exhibits coming online each week. Recently, several zebra sharks were added to the Predator building's main attraction, a 60,000-gallon shark reef tank. These 3-4 feet long zebra sharks join the exhibits other inhabitants, black tip reef sharks.

Zebra sharks are named for the appearance of their young, which are brown with white stripes. Adults look very different; they are mostly tan with brown spots. Zebra sharks may grow to 10 feet or more and have a distinctively long tail.

Despite their pop culture reputation, these and all species of shark have much more to fear from humans, than vice versa. For instance, zebra sharks only feed on small sea creatures found living on reefs such as shrimp, urchins, crabs and small fish. Many species of shark are on the verge of extinction due to over fishing and habitat loss. Fortunately, several countries including the U.S. have banned the practice of "finning" where animals are taken just for their fins and then discarded overboard to suffer a slow and helpless death.

As one of the top predators of the sea, healthy shark populations are vital to the long-term survival of our oceans. Be sure to check out these amazing animals at the Wildlife World Aquarium.

Grey Stafford, Ph.D. is the Director of Conservation and Communications at the Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium and author of the new pet-training book, " ". He appears frequently on 3TV with some of the zoo's fascinating animals.

Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium, which is located at 16501 W. Northern Ave., Litchfield Park, is open 365 days a year, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Daytime admission is $26.50 (plus tax) for adults and $14.25 (plus tax) for children 3 to 12; children 2 and younger get in free. Special evening admission to the Aquarium only is $16.99 (plus tax) for adults and $8.99 (plus tax) for children 3 to 12. For more information, call 623-935-WILD (9453) or visit .