the good, the bad, the sheer

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

the saddest shark in the world just died :(

Bertha, the shark who has been swimming around in circles in the same tank at Coney Island's aquarium since 1965, has passed away.

To be candid, it's about damn time that poor thing is out of her misery. When about 12 of my friends and I organized an impromptu field trip to the aquarium last year (see picture of amazingly interested and good-looking 20-somethings to the left), we were all pretty horrified by the sight of Bertha, apathetically drifting through a circular tank inhabited also by other marine life, sharks, and sting rays. It struck me as extra pitiful when our enthusiastic tour guide proclaimed that "some of our parents may have actually come to see Bertha in this VERY tank when they were little kids!!" DANG. In my naivete, I even wondered and asked out loud if the shark was ever "moved around, or let out in a different tank, or in a bay or something." Durrrr! It's not a dog that you can take on walks and play ball with. 

Still, how depressing! I don't like it when animals die, but in this case, I think Bertha is in a better place. She lived a life on display in a tiny tank, sharing her miniscule space with other (assuredly despondent) sea creatures. Her situation was on par with a prison term! And yet all she did was get caught in some sheer Brooklyn fisherman's net when she was a baby, the same year that the Beatles played Shea Stadium, the year that Malcolm X was assassinated, and that Bob Dylan went electric. She'd been in that dreadful, repetitive, detached realm for more then four decades....... que lastima :(

If you want to read the whole article, the NY Post is allllll up in it.

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