4 rare sandbar shark babies born at OdySea Aquarium in Scottsdale

Feb 27, 2020, 4:30 PM | Updated: 6:47 pm
(OdySea Aquarium Photo)...
(OdySea Aquarium Photo)
(OdySea Aquarium Photo)

PHOENIX — OdySea Aquarium in Scottsdale recently became home to four extremely rare sandbar shark babies.

The pups — two males and two females — were born Feb. 20 in the aquarium’s OdySea Voyager exhibit and are healthy, according to a press release.

Less than 10 sandbar shark baby births have been recorded in the United States, the release said.

“We are fortunate to have a very experienced team caring for our sharks. We worked together to execute a well-thought-out plan that resulted in four successful births,” Lance Ripley, OdySea’s animal care curator, said in the release. “We are ecstatic to see our hard work, dedication and commitment pay off to help advance the conservation of this species.”

Teams at the aquarium closely monitored the pups in the hours after their births because sandbar sharks provide no maternal care.

They continued to be cared for and are progressing as they should, the release said.

The pups are all about two feet long, eating well and are hitting developmental milestones.

By the time they become adults, the sharks can grow to more than 7 feet in length and weigh up to 200 pounds.

The pups will remain behind the scenes as they continue to grow and mature.

“We are aware that successful births of this species are very rare under human care but we remain cautiously optimistic and excited about their progress thus far,” Dr. Eric Anderson, OdySea’s head veterinarian and director of animal health, said in the release. “Our priority is to give the animals the best healthcare possible and learn as much as we can from this experience.”

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4 rare sandbar shark babies born at OdySea Aquarium in Scottsdale