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First Baby Zebra Shark Makes Debut Today at The Aquarium of the Pacific

Photo courtesy of The Aquarium of the Pacific

Photo courtesy of The Aquarium of the Pacific

The Aquarium of the Pacific just made their official announcement that they were the first aquarium to successful reproduce a baby zebra shark through artificial insemination. More than 100 million sharks in the wild are killed annually due to human impact.

Photo courtesy of The Aquarium of the Pacific

Photo courtesy of The Aquarium of the Pacific

Being able to artificially inseminate large shark species like the zebra shark can further research in helping dwindling shark populations in the wild. The 10-month-old sharks are now on exhibit in the Aquarium’s Shark Lagoon shallow pool. Fern, approximately 20 years old, is the mother of the two female sharks.

Sharksbeingmoved233

Photo courtesy of The Aquarium of the Pacific

Fern arrived to the Aquarium in 1997. She was inseminated in September 2013, and both babies hatched from their eggs in late March of 2014. The Aquarium’s experts have been caring for the youngsters in their behind-the-scenes shark nursery. The zebra shark pups are now about 2-and-a-half to 3 feet long and are now ready to be introduced in the shallow pools in Shark Lagoon.

Photo courtesy of The Aquarium of the Pacific

Photo courtesy of The Aquarium of the Pacific

The 140-pound and 7-and-a-half-foot long mother zebra shark can be seen swimming in the Aquarium’s Shark Lagoon exhibit with other large sharks. Aquarium experts have been working with Fern, who is trained to come to the surface for food as well as to voluntarily participate in her own medical exams.

Zebra sharks can live about twenty-five to thirty years, but face many threats in the wild. This species is listed as vulnerable to extinction under the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List mainly because of human activities. Overfishing poses a big threat, as these sharks are sold for human consumption or fish meal.

Come see the new baby sharks starting today at the Aquarium of the Pacific.

Facts, photos and information provided on behalf of the Aquarium

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One Comment

  1. Wow

    Thats so awesome
    It looks like a Jurrassic Park extra!

    I suppose that they do say sharks have not evolved for years so maybe…?

    Cant wait to go check this guy out!

    Daniel

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