(Baby) Shark Week: Seaworld Performs C-Section on Pregnant Shark

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Until the social sharing capacity is restored (you can share, but the counter won’t show it), I’ll mainly post video essays – enjoy!

From CBS Miami:

For the first time in SeaWorld’s history, a Cesarean section has been performed on a shark.
A team of shark experts and veterinarians performed the groundbreaking procedure on a whitetip reef shark at Discovery Cove, SeaWorld’s sister park, in Orlando on July 18, 2013.
Six months into the shark’s gestation, the park’s animal team noticed a complication with her pregnancy and determined an emergency C-section was necessary.
Whitetip reef sharks give birth to live young. In this case, four healthy pups were born. The pups each weighed less than three pounds at birth and were about two feet long.

Florida Museum of Natural History reports:

In Hawaii, some families regarded this shark as ‘aumakua’, a guardian spirit. They would feed rather than hunt whitetip reef sharks.

The whitetip reef shark typically lives along the bottom in clear, shallow waters surrounding coral reefs. It has been reported at depths to 1,083 feet (330 m). Rarely coming to the surface, this shark is capable of lying motionless on the bottom substrate for long periods of time. During daylight hours, whitetip reef sharks form aggregations in caves, sometimes appearing stacked up like a pile of logs. The same sharks often return repeatedly to the same cave for long periods of time, changing location only periodically. The whitetip reef shark is most active throughout the night. Site fidelity is strong with each shark maintaining a small home range for months or years at a time.
This shark is relatively harmless to humans due to its easygoing disposition and small teeth. It avoids close contact with humans, swimming off when approached by swimmers and divers. Often attracted to food, divers have been able to hand feed individual whitetip reef sharks. However, on occasion, a shark will become overly excited by spearfishing or when bait is present, resulting in a bite to a diver. This species is also known to bite if harassed.

(Normal gestation is 5 months according to the museum)

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