Shark at Nauticus celebrates first Mother’s Day

Posted at 6:03 PM, May 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-08 22:47:43-04

NORFOLK, Va. - The aquarium at Nauticus is now home to a new mom after a shark pup was born just two weeks ago. However, specialists at Nauticus say, unlike most moms, this one has no attachment to her young.

Educators said certain species of marine life are very attached to their young, but not the Brownbanded Bamboo Shark. These sharks lay eggs, much like a chicken, where not all the eggs are fertilized.

Three months ago, marine specialists at Nauticus noticed something different about an egg and found that it was fertilized and a few months later a pup was born, the first shark to be born in captivity at Nauticus in more than 10 years. Currently, one more fertilized egg is being held in the aquarium with the pup as marine specialists wait for it to hatch.

Educator Erynn Daniels said, “It is very exciting! We hope to continue observing them as they grow and there have been other studies with shark pups, but this is really awesome to be able to see it first hand as this pup grows, gets bigger and develops properly.”

It is too early to tell whether the pup is male or female, but educators said it has to be kept separate from its parents due to its size, because the larger sharks might mistake their young for food.