AP/Mike Fiala
In 2004, the Monterey Bay Aquarium successfully kept a great white shark in captivity for more than 16 days.
BEYOND THE SEA

A great white shark died just three days after it was put in an aquarium

By Thu-Huong Ha

The only great white shark to currently be held in captivity has died, just three days after it arrived at Japan’s Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium.

The 11.5-foot adult male, featured in a ”Sea of dangerous sharks” tank, died on Friday (Jan. 8), according to an announcement from the aquarium.

The net-caught shark had refused food since it was captured, says the AP.

Great whites are aggressive creatures, which makes them difficult to capture and handle. Their need to hunt and swim freely for long distances means that in captivity, they can refuse food and get depressed and disoriented.

Monterey Bay Aquarium is one of the few places that’s had success in keeping great whites: In 2004, the California facility exhibited a five-foot female for 198 days before she grew restless and attacked two smaller sharks in her tank. She was then released into the wild.

In late 2011, after 55 days on display at the aquarium, a young male was released back into the world and died shortly after.