SeaWorld San Antonio shark experts explain vital role they play in our oceans

KSAT 12 visits ahead of Shark Awareness Day on July 14

SAN ANTONIO – Inside SeaWorld San Antonio’s 400,000-gallon aquarium, you can find four different types of sharks.

“They are all unique in their own way. Many are developed to feed on different sorts of animals and to maintain the ecosystem,” Janelle Baca, aquarium supervisor at SeaWorld San Antonio said.

The sharks include a sand tiger shark, a sandbar shark, zebra shark and nurse sharks.

Baca says they play an important role in the ecosystem.

“They play a vital role taking care of all the sick, the weak, they dying fish and other animals so that they maintain a healthy ecosystem. So, without them our ecosystems suffer. You spread disease. A lot of unhealthy fish might be in the area,” Baca said.

And did you know? Sharks can go through 30,000 teeth in a lifetime.

“They can have four or five rows of teeth and they can go through several teeth in a day,” Baca said.

Baca says there are many misconceptions about sharks, including that they hunt humans.

“You got to understand that sharks are in their natural habitat, and we enter that habitat. So, what happens sometimes is sharks get curious because they can’t reach out and touch. Their sense of touch comes from their teeth. So, they are going to take a bite and it’s either going to be something they are interested in or not,” Baca said.

The team at SeaWorld is ready to educate visitors about these sharks.

“We want to let people know that preserving our sharks species is very important,” Baca said.

About the Authors

Tiffany Huertas is a reporter for KSAT 12 known for her in-depth storytelling and her involvement with the community.

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