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Bonnethead Sharks Die At Zoo Following Ozone Exposure

Last updated on Wednesday, January 21, 2009

(INDIANAPOLIS) - The Indianapolis Zoo says 15 Bonnethead sharks died early Tuesday of over exposure to ozone.

Senior Vice President of Conservation and Science Paul Gracen says the ozone monitoring system had been shut down for repairs to another tank in the oceans building.

The ozone is typically used in the tanks to dissolve organic waste, but high levels of the oxygen molecule can harm the sensitive gill tissue of the fish. Two organic snappers were unharmed.

Gracen says the zoo will likely replace the fish and possibly add another species as well. He says staff members are extremely apologetic about the mistake and will not be punished for the deaths.

Bonnethead sharks can grow up to five feet and are considered harmless unless provoked.

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