Georgia Aquarium loses 2nd popular animal in 10 days, a whale shark named Ralph


ATLANTA A prized whale shark at the world's largest
aquarium died Thursday night, the second death of a popular animal
at the center in 10 days.

Ralph, one of four whale sharks in the only such exhibit outside
Asia, arrived at the Georgia Aquarium in June 2005 from Taiwan,
where he had been destined to become seafood.

The cause of death
was not immediately determined.

``Recently, he has not been eating well and has had some unusual
swimming patterns,'' aquarium spokeswoman Donna Fleishman said.

was moved to another part of the tank after he stopped swimming and
died eight hours later, Aquarium executive director Jeff Swanagan
Ralph was considered a teenager.

Ralph and Norton, the aquarium's other male whale shark, arrived
together and were joined a year later by two females, Alice and
Trixie, in their 6 million gallon tank.

Whale sharks are the world's largest fish, growing up to 50 feet
Gasper, one of the aquarium's five beluga whales, was euthanized
Jan. 2 after months of declining health.