Friday, January 12, 2007


[More bad news from the Georgia Aquarium, which suffered the second loss of a major attraction in as many weeks. Herewith a Déja Blogpost...]

Ralph, the late whale shark.

Atlanta is again in mourning upon hearing the tragic news that Gasper Ralph, one of the Georgia Aquarium’s celebrated beluga whales whale sharks and a favorite among visitors, died unexpectedly.

Gasper had been suffering from osteomyelitis, a bone infection, and his condition had deteriorated in the past several weeks. Ralph had recently suffered a loss of appetite and a deterioration in swimming patterns. Jeff Swanagan, the Aquarium’s executive director, said that when staff members noted that Ralph had stopped swimming Thursday afternoon, they put him in a sling and began intensive treatment.
“We rescued Gasper knowing that he was seriously ill, but were hopeful that we might have been able to save him,” said Bernie Marcus, Georgia Aquarium benefactor and chairman of the board.“At 1:30, Ralph was observed not swimming,” Swanagan said. “Our husbandry staff and veterinary staff gave him medical attention, and they did that for eight straight hours.”

“The entire staff is saddened by what has happened today.”
Surviving Ralph are tankmates Norton (a male), Alice and Trixie (females).

In related news, the Georgia Aquarium today announced plans to build a 50,000-gallon 200,000-gallon capacity toilet bowl to facilitate disposal of the remains.

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