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NORWALK, CT – The votes are in and “Shark Haven” is the winning name for the new shark exhibit at The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.
Submitted by Christine Ostrowski of Fairfield, “Shark Haven” was the runaway choice during an online public vote Dec. 4 and 5, receiving more than half of the votes cast.
Other finalist choices were “Sandbar Ridge” and “Life of Sharks."
Ostrowski said she chose “Shark Haven” because the name invokes the sense of a safe and happy habitat for the sharks.
“I’ve always felt that The Maritime Aquarium has helped to inspire a love of nature in people of all ages, and encourages that nostalgic love of sea creatures from our youth,” she said. “There is so much offered in terms of great programming and ways to be involved!”
In addition to seeing “Shark Haven” over the exhibit door, Ostrowski will receive a behind-the-scenes tour of the Aquarium, including the chance to watch the feeding of the large sand tiger sharks from above their exhibit.
The Maritime Aquarium invited exhibit-name submissions last month as part of the recent Giving Tuesday fundraising campaign. The three finalists were chosen by Aquarium staff, based on creativity and alignment with the exhibit’s theme of animal care and welfare, and then put to weekend online voting.
"Shark Haven,” which opened Nov. 26, offers guests a behind-the-scenes look at the complex care needed by four new 4- to 5-foot sandbar sharks. The sandbar sharks serve as examples of how animals new to the Aquarium are quarantined before being introduced into the permanent displays. In the exhibit, the sharks’ growth will be charted, and they’ll be screened for health issues and taught to feed in a safe, controlled way.
Displays offer information about sandbar sharks and their care; explain the careful process of receiving the sharks from a vetted facility in Florida, where the sharks were born and raised; and trace out the complex life-support systems needed to create the optimal aquatic habitat.
Learn more about the exhibit – as well as special holiday offerings this month, including “Shark-Diving Santa” and “The Polar Express 4D Experience” – at www.maritimeaquarium.org.
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