Shark to be named after heroine Elsa in Frozen

Blacktip reef shark swimming close up
Blacktip reef shark swimming close up

A female shark is to be named Elsa in honour of the animated heroine from the hit movie Frozen following a competition at Hastings’ Blue Reef Aquarium.

The Rock-a-Nore Road wildlife attraction invited youngsters to choose a suitable name for the young female shark after an earlier request to name a male shark proved popular.

However staff were not prepared for the overwhelming interest the naming competition, which was launched earlier this month, caused as more than 170 entries flooded in – more than three times the number who entered the previous competition.

In the end, they opted for Elsa, which was suggested by both four-year-old Sophie, from Hastings and four-year-old Ami-Leigh, from Bromley in Kent.

Blue Reef’s Leanna Lawson said: “We were delighted with the response we got from our initial naming competition for Razor but we weren’t prepared for the level of interest this time around.

“Once again it was really difficult to pick an overall winner but we ended up choosing Elsa, which was actually put forward by two youngsters who clearly enjoy Disney animated films.”

Other names which came under consideration included Midnight, Shimmer, Coral and Betsy.

As well as having a shark named in their honour, both girls will also receive a year’s annual pass to visit the aquarium.

Last September, Blue Reef Aquarium took on a male blacktip reef shark and launched a naming competition for youngsters.

Staff were inundated with name suggestions for him, with more than 50 being received by the attraction.

After much debate, they opted for Razor, which was suggested by nine-year-old Reece Pellosis from Ashford in Kent. Other names which came under consideration included Feargal, Finley, Snap and Sydney.

The blacktip reef shark is one of the three most common sharks inhabiting coral reefs in the Indo-Pacific along with the whitetip and grey reef sharks.

Belonging to the same family as the great white shark, blacktips only reach a maximum size of around 1.6 metres.

They are active predators and feed on a wide variety of prey including small fish, octopus, squid and crustaceans. They have also been known to eat sea snakes and even seabirds.

They give birth to live young which can hunt as soon as they are born.

The movie Frozen premiered in Hollywood, California, in November, 2013.

It was a commercial success and ranks as the highest-grossing animated film of all time.