Since reopening, the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores has continued to feature aquatic animals of North Carolina. Notable among them are sand tiger sharks, a green moray eel measuring about six feet long, a goliath grouper approaching four feet, and a number of sizable nurse sharks, sandbar sharks and various game fishes.
Most of the larger creatures inhabit the Aquarium’s centerpiece exhibit, the 306,000-US-gallon (1,160,000 l; 255,000 imp gal) Living Shipwreck. Along with hundreds of schooling fishes and other animals, they create a swirl of constant motion around a replica of U-352, a German submarine that lost a World War II battle with a Coast Guard cutter off the North Carolina coast. The Aquarium’s three river otters also have lived up to expectations of stardom. With the help of the public, two were named Neuse and Pungo after North Carolina rivers. Neuse and Pungo came to the Aquarium when they were about a year old in 2006. Eno, the third otter, was brought to the Aquarium at four weeks old in April 2008, after his mother was killed by a car near White Lake. Aquarists bottle-fed him until he could trade formula for fish and other solid food, and helped him learn to swim. Now he’s strong, healthy, energetic and playful. Wide viewing windows bring their playful antics and underwater agility to child-eye-level, and the lively pair enchants people of all ages.