The first cancer related shark death has occurred at the Grenfell Aquarium over the weekend.
Celebrity shark Jackie McBitey as she is known locally, passed away on Saturday night after battling a rare form of shark cancer for several months.
The two metre Nurse Shark has been a tourist attraction for many years, and even has her own Facebook account.
“Shark cancer is rare in Nurses, but it is not out of the question,” said aquarium owner Wilson Dunn in an exclusive interview with The Canberra News Digestive.
“This should be a warning to people who are buying powdered shark fin pills – you are wasting your money and needlessly killing these beautiful creatures. Everyone will soon see that mobile phones are the new cigarettes, but that is another story.”
“We would often dress Jackie up in various costumes and the children would ride her around the pool. It is sad to see her succumb to the indignity of this rare cancer.”
The myth that sharks do not get cancer become popular in the 1990s when several books were released suggesting that eating shark cartilage can reduce the risk of getting cancer.
Jackie McBitey will be cremated at a public ceremony this week at Spiros Fish and Chips.