Whale Sharks Move to a New Home

The new book Animal Helpers: Aquariums, due out in March, is great for teaching children about the many creatures that can be found in local aquariums. Aquariums are a wonderful place to learn and gain hands-on experience with all of the different types of marine animals. But have you ever wondered how they get all of those huge whales and sharks in there?

Two whale sharks can be found swimming around in the tanks at the Georgia Aquarium. These large whale sharks were originally from Taiwan. So, just how are these massive creatures transported halfway around the world?

Like most things, they were shipped through UPS. Of course, not many boxes could fit a whale shark and they probably also wouldn’t fit in any UPS trucks, so they had to make a few exceptions. A team of specialists loaded the whale sharks into separate tanks that weighed about 25,000 lbs each. To accommodate the whale sharks on the 30-hour long flight to Atlanta from Taiwan, they raised the temperature inside of the plane to 75 degrees, which is the same temperature as their familiar oceanic environment.

Once the plane landed in Atlanta, they were still far away from the aquarium. The sea giants were greeted with a police escort and slowly made their way through the busy streets of the city. When they finally reached the Georgia Aquarium, the whale sharks and belugas were happy to get out of their tanks and swim freely within their new aquatic habitat.

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