Broadnose Sevengill shark Shark pups born out of mothers woundEight School shark pups have been born at the Kelly Tarlton’s Underwater World, after their mother was wounded by a Broadnose Sevengill shark.

Animal keepers at the public aquarium didn’t even know the female School shark was pregnant, and was amazed to see four tiny sharks swim out of the gouge. When the female was treated for her injury, four more shark pups were found inside her.

Despite being born prematurely, all eight shark pups are healthy. They have been transferred to a predator free area and will be raised by Kelly Tarlton’s curator team until they are strong enough to be released into the wild, something which will probably happen within 6-8 weeks. The pups are currently being fattened up on a diet of herring and mullet.

Interestingly enough, the aggressive Broadnose Sevengill shark may actually have saved the lives of the School shark pups by attacking their mother and forcing them to enter the world prematurely.

Ironically the fight their mother got into probably saved these pups’ lives! Sharks don’t have maternal instincts and just birth or ‘drop’ their babies and swim off – leaving them incredibly vulnerable. Because we didn’t know she was pregnant, and she would be most likely to give birth at night, we probably wouldn’t have gotten to the pups in time to move them to a safe, predator free area,” said Marine Biologist Andrew Christie, curator at the aquarium.