This shark bombarded with loud music for a decade after being kept in a tiny aquarium as a nightclub attraction has finally been rescued and moved to a larger – and quieter – home.
The shark, called ‘Summer’, was reportedly purchased 10 years ago by the Club Summer Garden nightclub, located in Alanya, a resort city in Antalya Province in south-western Turkey.
Footage shows the shark swimming around the aquarium while loud music can be heard in the background.
The shark was rescued after it was seen by a tourist, who reported it to PETA Germany. PETA then demanded that the business owner release the shark into a more natural environment.
The mayor of the Metropolitan Municipality of Antalya, Muhittin Bocek, then became involved and ordered the nightclub to remove the animal.
Officials from the municipality then assisted in the animal’s transfer to a new home, which is said to be the largest aquarium in Europe, but its name has not been disclosed by authorities.
The business owner, named as Ahmet Uyar, had claimed that the shark had not been affected by being in the aquarium in the nightclub.
He also claimed that people had offered him up to USD 50,000 (GBP 37,500) for the shark, but he had always declined, reportedly believing it was better off with him.
But sharks have an acute sense of hearing, according to the UK’s Shark Trust, a conservation organisation, and they are sensitive to low-frequency signals.
Their ears are two small holes behind their eyes and they are made up of cartilage tubes filled with fluid and lined with hair cells. Sound waves make these small hairs vibrate and the brain interprets the vibration as sound.
They can hear sounds such as the rumbling bass from electronic music much better than humans, who are conversely better at hearing higher-pitched noises.
According to the Shark Trust, they hear sounds with frequencies between 10 hertz to 800 hertz and are particularly affected by sounds lower than 375 hertz.
While some people may find the loud noises in nightclubs disturbing, for an animal with such a developed sense of hearing, it amounts to outright torture, according to PETA.
Newsflash spoke to PETA UK director Elisa Allen, who said: “No one should need to be told that sharks don’t belong in nightclubs or that it’s wrong to violently snatch them from their ocean homes for our entertainment – or any other frivolous reason.
“Sharks are extremely sensitive to noise, light, smell, and touch, and they can detect even the faintest of electrical fields – making a nightclub environment torture for them.
“While this shark has since been moved to an aquarium, PETA is calling for an urgent veterinary evaluation to assess the shark’s suitability for reintroduction into his native habitat – where he belongs – and we are ready to assist to ensure this happens.”
Summer is a blacktip shark (Carcharhinus limbatus), which is listed as ‘vulnerable’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature on its Red List of Endangered Species.