reef shark
Reef shark became distressed after visitors consistently tapped on its aquarium glass.Kevin Bryant/Flickr

A shark at a zoo in Russia has suffered a nervous breakdown after getting excessive attention from visitors, who persistently tapped on the glass to get its attention.

The shark, at the Kaliningrad Zoo, became extremely distressed at the zoo and began moving quickly around the aquarium and hurt her nose and eye in the process.

Press Secretary of the Zoo Ekaterina Mikhailova told RIA Novosti: "Our shark was not ready for such attention from the visitors and the persistent tapping of the aquarium glass.

"By flopping in panic onto the glass walls of the aquarium, she first hit her nose and then one eye".

According to Sharks World, most species of shark do not cope well in captivity. Many die within a year, with experts believing their high level of intelligence makes it stressful for them to live in captivity.

They are aware they are not in their natural environment and find it confusing because they cannot migrate.

The shark in the Russian zoo was having trouble recovering from her injuries because of the steady flow of visitors and constant attention.

As a result, staff were forced to close the aquarium to visitors until the 1m female reef shark has recovered. They have also started adding antiseptic to the water.