Tiger Sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier) in Captivity

Thanks to Andy Dehart, Paul Groves, Alan Henningsen, Raul Marin-Osorno, Mark Smith, Alejandro Zepeda, and Filipe Pereira for much of the information on this page. Crow and Hewitt (1988) reported on "Longevity records for captive tiger sharks with notes on behaviour and management in Int. Zoo Yearbook 27, 237-240. Dehart (1996) presented a tiger shark summary Henry Doorly Zoo 30-10-1996. New website for tiger sharks in captivity by Raul Marin-Osorno.

Photograph Aquarium/Details TL (m)
M (kg)


Time in captivity
  Additional information from Ted Kissel: The Arizona Aquarium at one time housed a Tiger Shark.  It wasn't on their top 20 marine species list so I'd expect it has already either been released or died.  There was also for a short time a Tiger Shark housed in the Mote Aquarium in Sarasota Florida in 2006 that was sent to an aquarium in Texas (I think it was either Dallas or Houston not 100% sure which).        
1 Aug 2009

Adventure Aquarium, Camden Waterfront, New Jersey
On August 1, 2009, a 5' 5'' 70 lbs tiger shark was added to the 760,000 gallon Ocean Realm exhibit. The male specimen arrived at the facility in early July and was acclimated in an isolated holding tank and was released to its new home almost a month later, joining a great hammerhead shark, two bowmouth guitarfish, a loggerhead sea turtle and hundreds of other pelagic animals.Thanks to Ted Kissel for update



Early July 2009 2 yr, died in late July 2011
  Al Gahardaqa Marine Lab in Hurghada, Egypt (Gohar and Mazhar 1964)   <1964 30-60 d
Gc-images/GcLongBeach.jpg Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach (LA)
This female tiger shark pup came from Taiwan in February 2009, after its mother was killed by local fishermen. The term-embryo was removed from the mother's uterus and raised in captivity. It was transported by air to LA and trucked to Long Beach. The specimen was kept inside a safety pen within the Shark Lagoon exhibit from February to June, until it was put on exhibit. The specimen outgrew the available exhibit and was released in Sept. 2009. Thanks to Ted Kissel for update.
  Feb 2009 7 months as of Sep 2009 when released

Atlantis Paradise Island Resort, Bahamas
Maintained three tiger sharks for 2.5 years ln two different exhibits, a 45 meter-wide, 27 meter-long and 4 meter-deep tank, holding 5206 m3 of water, and a shallow lagoon measuring 30 meters wide, 15 meters long and 1.5 meters deep, where one of the specimens actually spent a large portion of its day. In both exhibits the tiger sharks had several teleosts and other shark species sharing the tank with them.

    2.5 y
  Durban (Van De Elst et al., 1983)   <1983 1/3 y
  Coral World Bahamas      
  Coral World Eilat, Israel kept one for many years, was released as it outgrew the exhbit according to Paul Groves.      

Disney's Epcot Center's Living Seas Pavillion, Orlando (USA)
Was successful in displaying a tiger shark for 3.3. years in a its massive 61 meter-diameter, 8 meter-deep circular tank, holding a total amount of 21660 m3 of water. The specimen shared the exhibit with other shark species, rays, and teleosts.

    3.3 y

Henry Doorly Zoo Omaha.
Female was kept for 1.5 y from 1995 to 1996 in the square-shaped 1710 m3 (21 x 17 x 5m) Atlantic coral reef exbit. but she was held in a holding tank in The Keys for 9 months prior to us receiving her. Shared the tank with a lemon shark (Negaprion brevirostris), six sandbar sharks (Carcharhinus plumbeus) and a number of Caribbean teleosts. About 1.5 m TL and 35 kg on arrival. At time of death on Aug. 24, 1996 the animal was approximately 2.4 m TL. (Andy Dehart).



1995/6 2.25 y

Mandalay Bay Shark Reef, Las Vegas
December 2008: Two tiger sharks on display in the Shark Reef tank

    > 1 yr
  Manly Marine Land Australia kept 3.9 m TL specimen. Food consumption was 4% of bodymass per day (Crow and Hewitt 1988). 3.9 <1988  
Gc-images/mauioceancenter3.jpg Maui Ocean Centre obtained a specimen according to March 1999 email by Paul Groves. Photo of tiger shark currently on display (for about 1.5 yr) came from Filipe Pereira,
  1999 1.5
  New Jersey State Aquarium      
Gc-images/GcOkinawa.jpg Okinawa Exp Aquarium kept 1.5 m TL specimen. Consumed 1.3% of bodymass per day (Crow and Hewitt 1988).
March 2017: Footage of tiger shark giving birth (URL from Victor Lin, 20+ pups)
  <1988 1.75 y
Gc-images/GcOsaka.jpg Osaka Aquarium, Japan
On September 25, 2008, a male tiger shark, measuring 1.4 meters TL, was brought to the aquarium's Pacifc Ocean tank (5.400 tons of water) to join the two whale sharks, the manta ray, the devil ray, the scalloped hammerhead sharks and thousands of other fish. Thanks to Filipe Pereira.
  SeaWorld (Gold Coast, Australia) kept a tiger shark for 18 months during the early 80s. It was released during a particularly hot summer when it was impossible to keep the water temperature of the display below the upper limit for the shark and it started to exhibit signs of chronic stress. The temperature in the exhibit reached about 32 oC.   Early 80's 1.5 y

Sea World of Florida, Orlando USA
Kept a tiger shark in the park's Shark Encounter exhibit for 3.25 years, a dumb-bell shaped tank measuring 38 meters wide, 12 meters wide and 5.5 meters deep holding 2300 m3 of water. The specimen shared the exhibit with other shark species and teleosts. Was 2 m TL when collected. (Crow and Hewitt 1988)

2.0 <1988 3.25 y
  Shark Bay Gold Coast by Sea World Australia
(from Aug. 13, 2003 elasmo-l posting by the marine sciences director)
The lagoon will have no coral or rock bommies and has been made to resemble an ocean environment. The pool will allow over 70m of uninterrupted swim glide pattern with no square corners and will range in depth from 1.8m to 4m. Presently, one 3.9 m female tiger, one 2.96 m male tiger, two female dusky whalers 3.3 m and 3.4 m, two female sandbar sharks 1.95 m and 1.98 m, and one female silvertip shark 1.9 m are held in a shallower tempory pool with long glide path and wide turning circles.
The 2.9m Tiger shark had a very bad wound from the hook which had gashed its face, up to the first gill rake. This was stitched by our vet on arrival at our park and is healing exceptionally well considering the serious nature of the initial injury, and the shark is under antibiotic treatment via its daily food intake. All sharks are eating well which is another indicator that they are feeling better about their surroundings and health.

Veracruz, Mexico
Delta (Female ca 350 cm LT). Habitat 1. Shark pen. September 4, 1998-December 29 1998. Habitat 2. Pecera Oceanica. Oceanic tank 1'250.000 l Circular tank. Multispecies tank: elasmobranchs, bony fishes and sea turtles. December 29 1998- February 26 2003. Habitat 3.-Tiburonario (Shark tank 919, 000 l kidney shaped tank). February 26 2003 to the present date.
Viernes (Male ca 300 cm LT) Habitat 1. Shark pen. March 29 2002-November 9 2002. Habitat 2. Tiburonario (Shark tank). November 9 2002 to the present date.
Tito (male 160 cm LT) Was ~140 cm when captured.
Habitat 1. Tiburonario (Shark tank) February 11 2004 to the present date.
Foods: bonito little tunny (Euthynnus alletteratus, "giant squid", cow meat.
"Tank Mates":10 sandbar sharks (Carcharhinus plumbeus), 2 Nurse sharks (Ginglymostoma cirratum), 3 sharksucker (Echeneis naucrates) and a school of Ocyurus chrysurus,Haemulon spp. and Lutjanus griseus.
Tiger shark feeding. Acrilic Cage Shark Show.

3.5; 3.0:

>6 y
Photograph Aquarium/Details TL (m)
M (kg)
Time in captivity

Created February 2002, updated March 2017. Back to previous page
Please send comments or corrections to henry@elasmollet.org