Newport Aquarium Celebrates Shark Week by Unveiling 35-Foot Sand Tiger Shark on #SharkWall Mural

NEWPORT, Ky. — In celebration of Shark Week, Newport Aquarium unveiled on Aug. 14 the 35-foot-long sand tiger shark to highlight the newly completed #SharkWall mural.


A 40’x50’ tarp covering the sand tiger shark dropped following a short countdown by Newport Aquarium employees, officially unveiling the completion of the #SharkWall to the tri-state area.

Animal Ambassador Ric Urban with Paula the penguin (The Enquirer/Patrick Reddy)

Ric Urban with Paula the penguin (The Enquirer/Patrick Reddy)

The unveil included photo opportunities of Paula the African black-foot penguin; Tilly the loggerhead sea turtle; and Gary the American alligator posing in front of the mural next to their likenesses.

Biologist Jen Hazeres with Tilly the turtle.

Biologist Jen Hazeres with Tilly the turtle.

ArtWorks Cincinnati produced the #SharkWall mural for Newport Aquarium as part of the aquarium’s 15-year anniversary.


A rendering of Mighty Mike, the 800-pound, 14-foot-long American alligator that resides at Newport Aquarium’s Gator Alley exhibit, is located near the center of the #SharkWall.

Completion of the mural, which occurred on Aug. 8, came to fruition thanks to the hard work of ArtWorks and its group of more than 15 dedicated artists, 12 of which were young artist apprentices from various neighborhoods throughout Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.


The lead designer of the mural was Roz Tallmadge, a Cincinnati native and Walnut Hills High School alum. She named the design of the mural “Shining Seas”.

Celebrating Shark Week: Atlantic Ocean Sharks at Newport Aquarium

By Derek White, Newport Aquarium PR Aide


Sand Tiger Shark

Sand tigers, sandbars and nurse sharks, which frequent the eastern and southeastern coast of the United States, are some of the most recognized sharks at Newport Aquarium. These sharks have drastically different characteristics that make them so well known. Contrary to popular public opinion, these sharks are quite docile and would only attack humans when provoked.

nurse shark

Best known for their curled and hinged mouths, nurse sharks can often be seen on the warm waters of the seabed where they use their strong jaws to crush and eat shellfish and even coral. They prefer to feast on fish, shrimp and squid that frequent that given body of water.

Sandbar shark

Sandbar shark

The sandbar shark is the best identified for its high first dorsal fin and inter dorsal ridge. Like the nurse shark, sandbar sharks rarely make an appearance above water. They frequent harbors, bays and the mouths of rivers, preferring naturally protected salt waters with smooth sandy bottoms where it feeds on bottom dwelling fish.

Sand tiger sharks are identified by their long jagged teeth that protrude from their open or closed mouths; giving them the reputation as ferocious killers. Despite their looks, they are docile, non-aggressive and normally only attack humans when provoked. Their food preference is small fish, squid and crustaceans. They are the only sharks known to come to the surface for air. They store the air in their stomachs, which allows them to float motionlessly in the water to seek prey while staying close to the bottom of the body of water.

Newport Aquarium Gears Up for Shark Week

Shark dive shows, shark feedings, shark touching and shark overnights offered to guests


NEWPORT, Ky. – With more than 55 sharks on exhibit, Newport Aquarium is the place to visit in Greater Cincinnati during Discovery Channel’s Shark Week.

To celebrate Shark Week, Newport Aquarium is offering a $5 discount* on all general admission tickets for visits from Aug. 10-17. This Shark Week discount is available for purchase only through


A variety of shark-related activities highlights the Shark Week schedule at Newport Aquarium, where there is always more new to see and do:

  • Surrounded by Sharks – At Newport Aquarium’s signature exhibit, guests can walk through a 385,000-gallon tank filled with four rare and exotic shark rays, sand tiger sharks, whitetip sharks, zebra sharks, as well as a sandbar, a blacktip and a nurse shark.
  • Shark Tank Dive Shows – Guests catch their first and largest views of shark rays and sharks at the Shark Ray Bay Theater, where our shark dive shows feature a scuba diver addressing and taking questions from the audience about the biology and conservation of sharks and other animals found inside the tank. (Aug. 10-17 at Noon; 12:20 p.m.; 12:40 p.m.; 2 p.m.; 2:20 p.m.; and 2:40 p.m.)
  • Shark Feedings – Newport Aquarium performs public feedings for its sharks and shark rays, where guests can watch biologists feed from either the Shark Ray Bay Theater, the Surrounded by Sharks tunnels, or through a biologist’s point-of-view from the Shark Top viewing area. (Shark feeding 11 a.m. Aug. 12; Shark ray feedings 1:15 p.m. Aug. 11-15)
  • Shark Touch Pool – At the Shark Central exhibit, guests have the opportunity to touch dozens of sharks. An Animal Experience Specialist teaches guests the proper two-finger touch technique and helps them understand each species in this international collection.
  • Sharks After Dark Overnight – Guests can sink their teeth into some great shark facts and sleep safely as they swim above. Every overnight includes exclusive aquarium access, animal-themed games and activities. (Thursday, Aug. 7 at 7:30 p.m. sold out; Friday, Aug. 8 at 7:30 p.m. sold out)

For more information on Newport Aquarium, visit or call toll free 800-406-FISH (3474).

*This special offer cannot be combined with other discounts or coupons.


Newport Aquarium, the No. 1 aquarium in the country according to USA Today’s, has showcased thousands of animals from around the world in a million gallons of water since 1999. Named a top U.S. aquarium by US City Traveler in 2014 and by Travel Channel in 2013, Newport Aquarium is a Herschend Family Entertainment company and an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Newport Aquarium is open to the public 365 days a year and is located across the Ohio River from downtown Cincinnati at Newport on the Levee.

Find us on: | Twitter: @NewportAquarium

One Aquarium Way | Newport, KY 41071 | 859-261-7444