NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Restaurants often install aquariums as an aesthetic expression of beauty and serenity, but last week, the fish tank at the new Applebee’s on Coney Island was anything but.
On Friday, a blacktip shark named “Zane” gobbled up three tropical fish with whom he shared the 5,000–gallon aquarium, according to a New York Daily News report.
Applebee’s owner, Zane Tankel, said the fish had not eaten during four days of transportation to the restaurant, and the shark probably acted on instinct when it attacked the tropical fish.
“They were disoriented, and one of them attacked one of the other fish – one of the tropical fish – and bit him literally in half,” Tankel told 1010 WINS.
The same day, a whitetip shark died in the tank, after slamming into a replica of the Wonder Wheel, the newspaper reported.
The sharks in the tank have been removed, and were sent off to a rather ironically-named town in Dutchess County, Tankel said.
“They were taken up to Fishkill, and they’ll be held there, fed, and then reintroduced to the tank in about three or four days,” he said.
Tankel said the fact that one of the sharks ate its neighbors means the fish is comfortable in its new surroundings.
“Ordinarily, a shark will not attack the other fish,” Tankel said. “But the fact he was deprived of food during the transport from the West Coast to here, he was hungry, and in essence, the interpretation is he acclimatized pretty well because he had his appetite back.”
No customers witnessed the scene at the family-oriented restaurant, which did not have its grand opening until Monday.
The new Applebee’s is located at 1217 Surf Ave. in Brooklyn, near the Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue subway terminal.
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