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  Mainichi Daily 14 May 07
Popular whale shark dies mysteriously
Mainichi Daily News

OSAKA -- A popular whale shark at an aquarium here died late Sunday while being treated at a research institute in Kochi Prefecture, aquarium officials said.

The cause of the death of the 5.4-meter-long female whale shark, named Yu-chan, is unknown, according to officials. The fish is believed to be 12 to 13 years old.

Yu-chan, which was kept at Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan in Minato-ku, was transferred to the Marine Biological Research Institute in Tosashimizu on May 7 for treatment after it couldn't hold its food.

The whale shark was caught in a fishing net off Tosashimizu in July 1998. It had been kept at the aquarium for 2,505 days since June 2000.

A male whale shark, Kai-kun, has been on display at the aquarium since last Thursday. (Mainichi)

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution 15 May 07
Whale shark at Japanese aquarium dies
By Mark Davis

A whale shark on display at a Japanese aquarium has died, a Japanese newspaper reported earlier this week. It's the second death of a whale shark in an aquarium this year.

The female fish, named Yu-chan, died Sunday, the Mainichi Daily News reported in Monday's editions. The shark, about 20 feet long, had been on display at Osaka Kaiyukan Aquarium in Osaka since June 2000, the newspaper reported.

The fish was taken off display May 7 after it wouldn't hold its food, and was treated at a research institute where it died, the Daily News reported.

On Thursday, Kai-kun, a male whale shark, went on display at the Osaka aquarium, according to the newspaper.

The death underscores the demise in January of Ralph, one of four whale sharks at the Georgia Aquarium. A necropsy revealed the 22-foot-long male died of peritonitis, an inflammation of the stomach lining. He'd stopped eating, prompting the aquarium to force-feed the fish, which may have caused perforations in his stomach. Norton, another male whale shark at the Atlanta aquarium, is still getting force-feedings.

Officials in Taiwan, where the Georgia Aquarium got its whale sharks, say the Atlanta facility is preparing to ship two more to Georgia. Aquarium officials have declined comment.
Only four aquariums in the world are known to display whale sharks.

Related articles on Southern Islands Development including the Sentosa IR
and dolphins and whale sharks in captivity
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