First ever Epaulette shark to be born in captivity for the SEA LIFE network.
Weymouth SEA LIFE Park saw its first captive bred Epaulette shark born on Tues 21st September and pictured here next to the fingers of Sarah Moseley, a member of the Animal Care Team at the park. This is great news for the Park and a huge success for their shark breeding programme.
“To have a baby shark born, so early on in our Shark breeding program is fantastic news,” said Sarah . “Especially to have one born from our breeding Epaulette pair as it is unusual for them to breed in captivity,” Sarah continued.
The Epaulette shark is oviparous, which means the females lay eggs as apposed to giving birth to live pups.
“We have had several egg cases laid in the Shark Breeding Centre already, but this is the first fertilised egg that has hatched” Said Sarah.
“This birth means our breeding sharks are happy and comfortable in their environment” Sarah continued.
The new Shark Breeding Centre, which opened in Easter 2010, was specifically designed to emulate those surroundings found natural to the sharks living there.
“We spend a lot of time on the finer details of the tank, such as using natural lighting and specific theming to mimic a coral reef scene, which has seemed to have paid off” Said Sarah.
The egg, which was actually laid about 4 months ago, was moved into its own tank in the Nursery, where it was monitored until its birth on Tues. The baby will now stay in its own tank until it 6 – 9 months old, (about 30 cm long), before being moved back into the Shark Breeding Centre.
“It is important for us to keep it in the Nursery, so we monitor its growth and dietary habits as part of our shark breeding research.”
“We are now hoping our other species of shark will follow suit and start breeding soon. Maybe even our famous, married, Zebra Horn Sharks” Said Sarah.