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Long Island Aquarium treating sharks rescued from basement

Two staff members from Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead rescued seven sandbar sharks Aug. 23 from a basement in Lagrangeville, N.Y.

Joe Yaiullo and Rachael Vietheer from Long Island Aquarium, along with state Department of Environmental Conservation police officers, rescued the sharks. They also found two dead leopard sharks and a dead hammerhead shark, according to a DEC press release.

The sharks were reportedly kept in a 15-foot above-ground pool in the basement.

The live sharks were taken to the Riverhead aquarium, where they will be held until the case, which is currently under investigation, is closed.

The sharks are in a quarantine holding tank in the aquarium’s rear facility, where they are being “cared for, fed well and swimming well,” Darlene Puntillo from Long Island Aquarium said. They’ll remain there until aquarium staff can be sure the sharks are healthy.

The sharks were caught “with ease,” measured, tagged and had their blood taken, DEC officials said. The Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research provided transportation, using a box truck equipped with plastic tanks, oxygen and climate control capabilities.

Ms. Puntillo said the aquarium often gets calls to take in animals such as reptiles or fish that have outgrown their living situations, but not usually for sharks.

No other details about the investigation were immediately available.

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Photo credit: New York State Department of Conservation