Lemon shark dies at Point Defiance Zoo

A lemon shark believed to be the oldest in any North American aquarium died over the weekend at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium.

Lizzie, 30, developed lesions three weeks ago on her gill slits, around her pectoral fins and in her mouth, zoo officials said Monday.

Veterinarians have been monitoring the 450-pound shark and noticed she changed her swimming patterns and was having trouble breathing Thursday.

Intensive treatment began Friday, including antibiotics, anti-parasitic medicine and extra fluids.

Lizzie died Saturday night.

A necropsy has been performed, but results won’t be available for weeks, according to the zoo.

Lizzie has been in Tacoma since 1989. Although Point Defiance boasts 39 other sharks, Lizzie was the only lemon shark.

Lemon sharks typically live for 25 to 27 years.