Wednesday, August 7, 2013

First C-Section Performed On a Shark in SeaWorld History

For the first time in SeaWorld’s history, a Cesarean section has been performed on a shark. Our team of shark experts and veterinarians performed the groundbreaking procedure on a whitetip reef shark at Discovery Cove in Orlando on July 18. With innovative technology and the outstanding efforts of our animal care staff, four healthy pups were born.
Discovery Cove’s animal team determined the shark was pregnant last January after noticing breeding marks on the fins, followed by an enlarged abdomen. Due to the shark’s large litter size -- sharks usually give birth to 2 pups-- the team was able to confirm her pregnancy earlier than most.
Six months into the shark’s gestation, our animal team noticed a complication with her pregnancy and determined an emergency C-section was necessary.
The pups each weighed less than three pounds at birth (1.04 kg-1.25 kg) and were about two feet long (58 cm-62 cm.). These pups have some more growing to do before they reach their full size, but were born with a full mouth of teeth and are self-sufficient. Mom and pups are doing well, eating and behaving normally, and our animal experts are continuing to monitor them.
While these sharks are currently behind the scenes at Discovery Cove, you can see other whitetip reef sharks through glass while snorkeling in The Grand Reef or when participating in SeaVenture, an underwater walking tour where guests -- wearing dive helmets – are able to explore life under the sea.
This C-section shark birth is just one example of some of the amazing ways our company works to connect with and care for the natural world we share.

Story first appeared at

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