Five blacktip reef sharks were born at the Sea Life Oberhausen Aquarium during the early hours of February 3rd.
This was after many weeks of anticipation and trepidation by the facility's employees, who had known about the pregnancy since last December. The exact time of the birth remains a mystery, though. Even as late as 11pm on Tuesday (February 2nd), the cubs had not yet emerged. Then, when staff showed up for work at 7am the next day, the five healthy cubs were already swimming energetically in the shark nursery.
By the afternoon, they were examined by the veterinarian and aquarist, and given a clean bill of health. The two male pups measured 52cm in length, and weighed 800gm and 840gm each. As for the three female pups, the smallest is 49cm and weighs 700gm.
The shark nursery was opened last year to accommodate those residents that had been born in the last 12 months, to provide them a suitable environment to grow up in. The current residents include the aquarium's breeding successes, like sharks, rays, angelfish and other marine juveniles. Among them are six shark pups that had been born only last year, that have grown to a much larger size now.
Aquarist Timo Haußecker said that they had been waiting for the pups for many weeks: “We are pleased that they are already swimming around alive and well. Visitors can now experience something that is not available anywhere else.”
In order to share the aquarium's breeding success, two of the blacktip reef sharks born last year have been moved on Feb 8th to Scarborough SEA LIFE Sanctuary so that the healthy gene pool can be shared and more healthy offsprint can be born.