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Big Island resort adds sharks to lagoon exhibit

  • SUSAN SCOTTSusan Scott shares her favorite Tua­motu photos. At top, the 
5-foot-long black-tipped reef shark that grazed her belly with its dorsal fin.
    SUSAN SCOTT
    Susan Scott shares her favorite Tua­motu photos. At top, the 5-foot-long black-tipped reef shark that grazed her belly with its dorsal fin.

WAIKOLOA, Hawaii >> A dolphin exhibit at a Big Island resort has added two reef sharks to its lagoon in hopes of keeping them healthy and eventually allowing them to interact with visitors.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports the blacktip reef sharks were relocated to Dolphin Quest Hawaii at the Hilton Waikoloa Village from Oahu.

The sharks were living at West Hawaii Explorations Academy but became too big for its lagoon.

Dolphin Quest officials say they added the sharks because they believe sharks need help improving their reputation. The exhibit wants to showcase the importance of the predators in their environment.

Aquarist Erik Nash says sharks help keep ocean populations in balance by eating sick and dying prey animals.

Spokesman Mark DiMartino says Dolphin Quest wants to offer shark interactions, but not yet.

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