New England Aquarium Welcomes Nurse Shark "Cirri" To Its Giant Ocean Tank


BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Meet Cirri. She's the first Nurse shark to swim through the New England Aquarium's Caribbean coral reef exhibit in a decade.

At just 3.5 feet long, she is familiarizing herself with her new tank-mates including Myrtle the green sea turtle, eels, cownose rays, and hundreds of other colorful fish.

“Nurse sharks are a spectacular species to highlight here at the New England Aquarium. They showcase some amazing adaptations that sharks use to navigate and thrive in reef environments and are a species we have studied extensively in both public aquaria and the wild for decades,” said Mike O’Neill, manager of the Giant Ocean Tank.

Ahead of her arrival in Boston, Cirri was living in Quincy at the Aquarium's offsite facility. During her four month stay, a team of a dozen monitored her health and behavior. Using a truck carrying 650-gallons of water, Cirri was transported to Boston last week.

As Cirri gets used to a routine at the Aquarium, visitors will be able to see training sessions between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Animal care specialists will prioritize getting the 22-pound shark a proper diet, all the vitamins needed, and active swimming during feedings.

“Target training not only allows us to manage Cirri’s diet and nutrition but is also key for acclimating her for any veterinary exams or handling she may need. Establishing these habits when she is young will set her up for success in the Giant Ocean Tank as she grows into a full-grown adult,” said Kristen Ulrich, an aquarist who oversaw the nurse shark’s care in Quincy.

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