Channel NewsAsia

'Shark whisperer' gets up close with SEA Aquarium's resident sharks

Shark conservationist Cristina Zenato will share her knowledge with marine scientists and conduct shark interaction sessions from Thursday to Saturday.

SINGAPORE: Ms Cristina Zenato - dubbed the "Shark Whisperer" for her ability to induce "tonic immobility" in sharks, by rubbing her fingers across the shark's head and face - met the 100 resident sharks of Resorts World Sentosa's SEA Aquarium on Wednesday (Aug 6).

While she was not able to immobilise the sharks here, she was able to feed a sandbar shark by hand in a demonstration on Wednesday.

In theory, such a state of immobility would allow scientists to study sharks in a low-stress environment, while tasks such as collecting DNA samples and vital data as well as removing fish hooks can be done with greater ease.

Ms Zenato - here for the aquarium's shark conservation month and Shark Savers Singapore's local campaign - said she hopes to dispel the negative perception of sharks as man-eating monsters.

She will share her knowledge with marine scientists from Thursday to Saturday. Visitors will also get to see her in action in shark interaction sessions over the three days.