Chicago aquarium shelters baby sharks

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Posted by on February 10, 2006 at 00:04:10:

In Reply to: Poachers charged in Leopard shark case posted by Max Bottomtime on February 09, 2006 at 15:05:46:

CHICAGO, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- The Shedd Aquarium in Chicago served as a temporary refuge for 19 baby leopard sharks seized in a federal poaching case.

An indictment unsealed this week charges six men with violating the Lacey Act, which makes knowingly buying or selling protected species of animals or plants a federal crime. Leopard sharks cannot be taken until they are at least 36 inches long.

The 19 sharks housed by Shedd were seized from pet wholesalers in the Chicago area. They are now back in San Francisco Bay.

The defendants allegedly took at least 465 baby sharks in California waters that were fed into the pet trade in the United States, Britain and the Netherlands.

George Parsons, Shedd's fish director, said 36-inch sharks are too big for home aquariums. The babies might look great as living-room décor but would eventually get too big.

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