Shark Kept Captive at a Michigan Bar Is Released Into Natural Habitat

April 2002

PETA members near Detroit, Michigan, contacted us when they heard that a local bar with a nurse shark in a small aquarium was going out of business. By the time we received word of the bar’s closing, the bar owner had already taken the shark to a pet store.

With the help of the Michigan Humane Society, we tracked down the pet store and asked that we be allowed to release the shark into a protected marine preserve off the coast of Florida. We also contacted media outlets in the area to help highlight the shark’s predicament.

Soon after, we received a call from the grateful pet store manager, telling us that he had little knowledge about feeding or housing the shark; the bar owner had simply dumped the shark at the store in a garbage can.

With the help of the Marine Mammal Conservancy in Florida and a dedicated activist who had previously successfully released six other nurse sharks into the marine preserve, the nurse shark had the chance, for the first time, to experience life in her natural habitat.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind