NewsChannel 3 gets exclusive look at Mena, the zebra shark

Posted at 9:01 PM, Feb 21, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-21 21:01:04-05

This isn`t your typical checkup at the doctor`s office.

But for a shark and spotted eagle rays at the Virginia Aquarium, they`re getting the physicals they need to make sure they`re in tip-top shape.

Beth Firchau leads a team of experts and volunteers behind the scenes at the aquarium.

It's there where we met our first patient of the day, Mena, a 45-pound, 5.5 foot long zebra shark.

The team first rounded her up in a net in a pool of water.

Then they carefully look her over to take measurements and drew samples of blood.

In less than 10 minutes, she was placed on a big scale to see if she had lost or gained a few pounds since her last checkup before she is put back in the water.

A few spotted eagle rays also received a checkup.

In fact, all of the females got an ultrasound to see if they were expecting.

But so far, no babies are on the way.

Once the animals get a clean bill of health, they then swim to their natural habitat - the Red Sea - so visitors can see them up close and personal.