Port Jackson shark pair rescued by Port Stephens' Shark and Ray Rescue Centre donated to National Zoo and Aquarium

NEW HOME: A Port Stephens Shark and Ray Rescue centre employee with the sharks that were donated to the National Zoo and Aquarium in Canberra. Picture: Supplied

NEW HOME: A Port Stephens Shark and Ray Rescue centre employee with the sharks that were donated to the National Zoo and Aquarium in Canberra. Picture: Supplied

The Shark and Ray Rescue Centre has donated two rescued sharks to the National Zoo and Aquarium in Canberra as part of the Bobs Farm organisation's commitment to saving vulnerable marine species.

Owner Andrew Tindale said that the donation of two juvenile Port Jackson sharks had been well received by staff from the ACT-based zoo and aquarium.

"The main purpose is to give these fish to educational public aquariums who would normally rely on wild caught specimens," Mr Tindale said.

"Our goal is to provide aquariums with rehabs that have spent a considerable time being conditioned in order that the fish have the absolute maximum chance of living a full life educating the public."

Renee Nasserpour, from the national zoo, said that staff were excited to welcome the arrival and that the sharks would be displayed in the centre's Southern Oceans exhibit.

"The National Zoo and Aquarium is a popular tourist attraction and we see visitors and school students from all over Australia, including remote and rural regions," Ms Nasserpour said.

"The aquarium plays a vital role through education and conservation experiences. It enables visitors and students to engage and learn about the marine environment, the threats species and the ecosystem face. Through understanding, we can protect and support marine environments for the future.

"We work closely with other zoos and aquariums all over Australia through breeding and conservation programs, including the care of rescued and rehabilitated animals."

The two rescued sharks.

The two rescued sharks.

The Canberra zoo is Australia's largest inland aquarium with over 17 aquatic displays.

The aquarium first opened in 1990 as the national aquarium. In 2001, construction began on several big cat enclosures to house retired circus lions, leopards, tiger and a pair of tigons. Additional enclosures for native animals, primates and large ungulates such as zebra, antelope and giraffe saw the completion of the wildlife park changes and name change to the National Zoo and Aquarium.

Part of the mission of the Port Stephens centre, situated on Marsh Road at Bobs Farm, is to rescue sharks and rays that are damaged and donated by local fishermen to be rehabilitated by staff.

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Depending on demand, the Bobs Farm centre would normally house between 100 and 200 sharks and rays on site.

"Our goal is to treat as many injured sharks and rays, of various species, as possible and get them rehoused. We also save a range of fish that would have otherwise been sold as food," Mr Tindale said.

Everyone who pays to undertake shark and ray training will be provided food to feed the animals. The centre is open every day from 10am to 4pm and yearly passes are available.

To find out more visit sharkray.com.au.