Three tropical sharks have found a new home at Hunstanton’s Sea Life Sanctuary, after they were made homeless when a Lancashire aquatics shop went into administration.
The three black-tipped reef sharks have been thrilling customers of Aquascope, in Clayton, near Blackburn, for the last two years, but they were forced to move out when the shop closed down.
Joint administrators Jason Greenhalgh and Paul Stanley, of Manchester-based Begbies Traynor, were happy when Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary agreed the three sharks could join four more black-tips in their newly refurbished ocean display.
“The three Aquascope black-tips are about 30in long,” said Sanctuary display supervisor, Kieran Copeland.
“They should get on famously with our own slightly larger black-tips and will also have Ernie the green sea turtle and hundreds of small shoaling fish for company.”
Mr Copeland collected the trio himself on Monday, loading them into a transporter tank in the back of a Sanctuary vehicle after first exchanging some water with their current tank to make them as comfortable as possible.
Mr Greenhalgh said: “When Aquascope owner Steve Punchard took the decision to place Aquascope into administration, his immediate priority was to find a suitable new home for all his stock, including the three sharks.
“We have no doubt that they will be very happy at Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary.”
One of the most abundant sharks of tropical reefs, black-tips prefer inshore waters and can grow to over five feet.
The European Sea Life centre network has recently launched a captive breeding programme for the species, and its marine biologists hope the three Aquascope sharks will boost the breeding pool when they reach maturity.
The Sea Life Sanctuary is only recently recovered from adversity itself, having been flooded to a depth of more than three feet by a tidal surge during last December’s storms.
The centre has only just reopened after nearly a year of closure and refurbishment, which has seen all of the animals moved elsewhere while the damage was repaired.
The £3million investment in the Sanctuary has already started paying off after record numbers flocked to the reopened centre within the first week.
The 6,000 visitors more than doubled expectations and tripled the number of visitors in the same week last year.