Boris joins Betty in Blackpool
True love runs deep…… in the deep tank at Blackpool SEA LIFE that is
A pair of love sick sharks have been reunited in Blackpool after a fleeting courtship in Birmingham. Boris the Bowmouth Guitar Shark has safely arrived at the seaside town to be with Betty, which makes them the UK’s only pair of Bowmouth Guitar Sharks in captivity. Not only are they reunited at the same time the attraction has launched its Shark Mission, they also form part of the Breed-Rescue-Protect programme and it is hoped they may breed a shark pup.
The arrival, which took place today (Wednesday 9th April 2014), has meant that the pair will be able to welcome SEA LIFE Blackpool’s Shark Mission which is a brand new feature taking visitors through the amazing world of sharks using state-of-the-art virtual technology.
Last year, Betty was briefly housed in Birmingham while Blackpool’s specialist display was created, however on her return to the seaside town, last August, it became apparent that the pair were unhappy to be separated.
Boris and Betty will now take their courtship to the next level in the Centre which specialises in shark conservation.
SEA LIFE Blackpool General Manager, Jenn Newton, said: “If Boris and Betty produce a pup they will be the first pair ever to successfully breed in captivity in Britain, which is obviously tremendously exciting. We are really committed at SEA LIFE Blackpool to breed where we can, rescue animals and protect them for our future generations.
“We know that visitors would be just as excited as staff members to see some tiny shark fins coasting the display top so we’ll all keep our fingers crossed.
“It’s really important to us that we do as much as we can conserve and protect animals and this is part of a bigger initiative. The Breed-Rescue-Protect initiative is exactly what it sounds like and is vital if we are going to preserve animal life not just here in Britain but globally for the future.
“It was a lovely surprise when Betty and Boris coupled up in Birmingham, but there were some hammerhead sharks in the same display which we think were putting them off breeding. We are hoping they will have the freedom and space in Blackpool to continue their romance, and they will be a great pull for visitors.”
The Bowmouth Guitar Shark has been assessed as "vulnerable" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and SEA LIFE’s breeding programme has been supporting the reintroduction of the species into the wild in case numbers continue to fall.
Boris (Bottom) meeting Betty (top)