Skegness Shark Heads to France in Search of Romance

Skegness Aquarium’s much-loved zebra shark (Stegostoma tigrinum), Nudge, has made the 430-mile trip to Paris in search of love.

Leaving Skegness Aquarium for life on the continent, the once-solitary zebra shark now has two female companions. Something of a local celebrity in his old hometown, Nudge has made the move to the French capital’s Aquarium de Paris as part of an effort to breed the endangered species. “A lot of the staff are going to seriously miss Nudge,” said a member of the Skegness Aquarium team following his recent move.

Nudge arrived in Skegness as just a baby, bearing the stripes that give zebra sharks their name. However, as the species mature, they turn from stripy to spotty. Now eight years old, Nudge measures over seven feet in length. His life in Skegness has been widely documented on social media. He also became Skegness Aquarium’s unofficial mascot, even getting his own line of merchandise.

Elsewhere, Nudge made the news back in 2019 when a paralysed Skegness local took a memorable dive in his tank. The man, paralysed from the waist down in a motorcycle crash, dived with Nudge to encourage others with disabilities to take up scuba diving.

Skegness Aquarium closed briefly on Wednesday, November 30, to accommodate Nudge’s stress-free departure to Paris. His new home in the French capital is a vast 3,000,000-litre tank that’s also home to blacktip sharks, grey sharks, nurse sharks, and, of course, Aquarium de Paris’ two female zebra sharks.