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Georgia Aquarium’s largest female whale shark, Trixie, dies

Animals

People watch as a whale shark glides past the viewing window at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta Monday, Feb. 11, 2008. In the wild, the whale sharks live much more hidden lives, with little known about how much they eat, where they swim and where they give birth. But more than two successful years of more than 5 million guests at the Atlanta-based aquarium has helped pour hundreds of thousands of dollars into new research into the animal. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

ATLANTA (AP/WFLA) — The largest female whale shark at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta has died.

The aquarium says Trixie died Friday after her health rapidly declined. She had been at the aquarium since 2006 when she was flown in with another female whale shark more than 8,000 miles from Taipei, Taiwan.

The aquarium said Trixie contributed to their understanding of whale sharks and their care.

“Loss is inevitable, but that does not make it any less painful,” the staff posted on Facebook. “We are so proud to have been stewards of her care for 15 years. We will miss you, Trixie.

Whale sharks are the largest fish in the world, but are considered endangered. They live in tropical waters across the globe and according to the Georgia Aquarium website, their average length is roughly between 18 and 32 feet.

The aquarium currently has three other whale sharks.

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