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Cleatus, the beloved Florida Aquarium goliath grouper, dies

The giant fish has been on display for millions of guests since the aquarium's opening in 1995.
Credit: Andrew Krietz, 10News

TAMPA, Fla. — A fixture of the Florida Aquarium since its opening, Cleatus the goliath grouper has died.

It's believed he was around 30 years old.

The aquarium announced the news of Cleatus' passing Monday evening on Facebook. Staff said he had some sort of prolonged illness up until his death.

Cleatus has been on display for millions of people since the Florida Aquarium's opening in 1995. As part its "bays and beaches" exhibit, guests learn goliath groupers are "the biggest fish in the bay, and can grow to 800 pounds or more."

They are a protected species in Florida, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

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We are saddened to announce the loss our beloved goliath grouper Cle... atus after succumbing to a prolonged illness. Cleatus, who made his Florida Aquarium debut on opening day 25 years ago, was estimated to be close to 30 years old.

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