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New Zebra Shark at Sea Life Brighton Named After Courageous 4 Year Old

Maxwell meets Maxwell (photo credit: Julia Claxton)

Maxwell meets Maxwell (photo credit: Julia Claxton)

Sea Life Brighton introduced a brand new Zebra Shark to its Ocean Display on 12th January and conducted an official naming ceremony in honour of four year old Maxwell Smith who is currently living with Mitochondrial Depletion in the TK2. 

Children’s charities Merlin’s Magic Wand and Rays of Sunshine attended the ceremony, along with Sea Life Brighton General Manager Max Leviston, plus guest of honour Maxwell and his family. 

The aquarium’s skilled aquarist team transferred the newly named Zebra Shark from its current home in quarantine into the one million litre Ocean Display, where it will co-habit with other sharks, rays and turtles.

Guest of honour at the naming ceremony was four year old Maxwell Smith, from Thakeham, West Sussex. Maxwell is currently living with Mitochondrial Depletion in the TK2, which is an extremely rare and complex muscle wasting disease. Due to this, Maxwell is fully ventilated 24 hours per day and is dependent on his wheelchair. Despite this, he is a very happy and brave young boy.

Maxwell loves watching fish and his greatest wish was to visit the Sea Life Centre in Brighton. 

With the help of children’s charities Merlin’s Magic Wand and Rays of Sunshine, Sea Life Brighton has been able to make that wish come true – and go one step further, naming the aquarium’s newest addition Maxwell in honour of the brave four year old. 

The two metre long male zebra shark is joining Sea Life Brighton from a sister aquarium in Holland. Newly-christened Maxwell, he will join Dotty, the female Zebra Shark, as well as Black Tip Reef Sharks, Sandbar Sharks, Sting Ray and two Giant Green Sea Turtles in the Ocean Display at Sea Life Brighton.  

Maxwell the zebra shark (photo credit: Julia Claxton)

Maxwell the zebra shark (photo credit: Julia Claxton)

A wooden plaque was also unveiled at the aquarium to commemorate Maxwell’s official naming of the Zebra Shark. 

To follow Maxwell’s story, please visit www.littlemaxwell.org. Please visit the following websites for further information on Merlin’s Magic Wand https://www.merlinsmagicwand.org/, Rays of Sunshine http://www.raysofsunshine.org.uk/ or Sea Life Brighton https://www.visitsealife.com/brighton

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