SeaWorld Orlando is now caring for two critically endangered great hammerhead sharks in its 700,000-gallon aquarium at Shark Encounter that features one of the world’s largest underwater viewing tunnels. The pair of young male sharks, named Dutch and Dillon, have joined five other shark species and a large array of saltwater fish on display at SeaWorld Orlando. Dutch arrived in November 2022 and Dillon arrived in May, both transferred from Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta as part of a collaborative effort caring for shark species in accredited zoos and aquariums. Protecting endangered species like great hammerheads through human care is an important part of helping prevent their extinction.
SeaWorld Orlando and Georgia Aquarium are accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to uphold the highest standards of care. As conservation partners, they are active participants in the Association of Zoos and Aquarium SAFE (Saving Animals from Extinction) program that includes sharks. This pair were safely transferred to SeaWorld's Shark Encounter habitat from Georgia Aquarium where they will become an important educational tool for the public to learn more about this incredible species. Caring for endangered species like the great hammerhead at accredited and certified zoological settings is vital to ongoing conservation and preventing species extinction.
The great hammerhead is the largest of the nine hammerhead shark species. The new sharks measure approximately seven feet long and weigh about 120 lbs. They are expected to reach between 10-15 feet in length.