Bubba (fish)

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Bubba (c. 1982 – August 22, 2006) was a Queensland grouper who resided at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, Illinois. Bubba is believed to be the first fish to undergo chemotherapy.[1] He was often nicknamed "The Super Grouper."


The 69.3 kilogram[1] Bubba was donated to the aquarium in 1987 by an anonymous donor; at the time he was a female about ten inches long. Bubba switched gender to male (being a protogynous hermaphrodite) in the mid-1990s[2] and eventually grew to 154 pounds while living in the aquarium's "Wild Reef" shark exhibit. In 2001, Bubba developed an unusual growth on his forehead, which was eventually diagnosed to be malignant; the aquarium called in veterinarians to remove the growth surgically and treat Bubba with chemotherapy that year, and again in 2003 when it regrew.

Shedd officials stated that Bubba was popular with cancer survivors, especially children, and was a favorite of visitors. The oncology department of Hope Children's Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois, recognized Bubba with a tile in the ward.[3]

Bubba died in August 2006, presumably due to problems with his health that were related to his old age and medical history.[3]