A milestone for Storm the ragged-tooth shark

Storm the ragged-tooth shark

Storm the ragged-tooth shark celebrated a milestone on Sunday 9 March 2014 – she was born at uShaka Marine World's Large Shark exhibit on a very stormy afternoon exactly a year earlier, one of only a handful of this species to have been born in an aquarium anywhere in the world.

If you are a one-year-old ragged-tooth shark then your milestones are somewhat different to other species. After spending months in specially designed enclosures, Storm is now large enough to compete for food in a multi-species exhibit, while not quite big enough to pose a threat to other species.

With a little help from her ever-watchful caregivers, she has settled down well in the Reef Predator exhibit. However, life in the Reef Predator exhibit can be quite tough for any newcomer, so Storm needed to be set up for success at feeding times before she could be introduced to the exhibit. 

Although large enough to compete for food, she is by nature slow-swimming, and the aquarists needed to be certain that she would continue to feed well and not be outdone by faster, more aggressive fish and sharks. 

In preparation for her move to the Reef Predator exhibit she was trained to respond to a target at feeding times. The majority of visitors to the aquarium would not have imagined that we could train a shark to station at a target, and are fascinated as they watch Storm coming up the surface to take food from the aquarists’ feeding tongs. Training Storm to target-feed took approximately two months and she will continue to be fed with tongs for the next few years. Feeding her in this way also ensures that she receives a regular allocation of special shark vitamins.

uShaka Sea World staff celebrated Storm's first birthday with cake and champagne.

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