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Friday, May 28, 2021

Newport Aquarium welcomes new species of shark just in time for Friday’s Shark Summer kickoff

Newport Aquarium. FTM file. 

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New sharks have arrived at Newport Aquarium. The two sandbar sharks represent an exciting species that hasn’t been featured at the aquarium in almost eight years.

With a lively spirit and quick pace, the new animals are sure to become a favorite of visitors. The sharks arrive as the aquarium is kicking off Shark Summer this Friday. The all-summer-long event honors and celebrates these fascinating and often misunderstood animals.

There’s perhaps no other fish that captures the human imagination like sharks. Bringing about feelings ranging from fascination to fear, you can’t help but feel the power of these animals. The new sandbar sharks are no exception. They are fast swimmers and guests will find them constantly on the move as they view them from underwater in the Surrounded by Sharks Tunnel. The signature tall dorsal fins on their backs can also be seen cutting through the water’s surface while guests cross over them on Shark Bridge, a 75-foot-long suspension bridge positioned just inches above the water’s surface.

“It’s exciting to present these new sharks to our guests,” said Kelly Sowers, Newport Aquarium’s General Curator. “They’re fascinating to watch up-close and give us the opportunity to teach people about the value of sharks. Protecting a vulnerable species like this is so important.”

Both sandbar sharks were born under professional care at Newport Aquarium’s sister aquarium in Camden, NJ in October 2018. Measuring up at about three and a half feet, they’ll ultimately grow up to eight feet long and 200 pounds each. As part of Shark Summer, guests are invited to submit their name ideas for the young sharks as they welcome them to their new home.

Shark Summer runs from Friday, May 28 to Sunday, September 12. The event includes more in-depth storytelling around the aquarium’s dozens of sharks from around the world plus guest favorites like touching sharks and crossing Shark Bridge. Capacities are limited so advance ticket purchase is required. For more information and tickets, visit

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