Central Ubon’s Shark Problems

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In May 2013 Central opened a new mall in Ubon and one of the main attractions is the aquarium; a very shallow pool of water with 6 sharks and a bunch of fish that kids and selfie-happy shoppers flock to. I always thought it seemed unsafe to have an open aquarium so low; for kids and the sharks. A 3 year old can reach the water and it’s not uncommon to see people put their hands in the water or try to feed the fish their Auntie Anne pretzel while grandma giggles nearby. Not kidding. Nevertheless my son and I often sit and enjoy the aquarium while mom is shopping.

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In August, one of the sharks bit the finger off a 2-year old [Warning: Graphic]. Large red signs were put up and the sharks were removed until either yesterday or the day before. Perhaps Central figured the negative buzz surrounding the incident had died down enough to quietly put sharks back in. Whatever the case, one of them promptly jumped out and almost landed on a kid in a stroller stirring up some more bad publicity. You can’t make this stuff up. According to Coconuts Bangkok, Central blamed a kid for tapping on the glass with a toy and released a statement on a local Facebook group page that said the sharks simply weren’t used to the new environment. Really? Blame the kids? There are constantly kids tapping on the glass and you can’t walk by the thing without seeing people taking pictures, often with the flash on. Personally I think Central should get an aquarium like Central Airport Plaza’s in Chiang Mai below but who knows if they’ll do anything. One thing I do know for sure; I will not be hanging around the water’s edge with a pretzel or a stroller anytime soon.

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