Columbia, SC (WLTX) - There's a shark tale at Riverbanks Zoo. Three shark pups were born, but you can't see them yet.
The two males and one female cat sharks are three months old and are being cared for in a holding tank. It's feeding time and Senior Aquarist Kendra Bottini is helping them eat by bringing them up near the surface.
"It's a good way to feed them. Also, once they are on exhibit, they are going to be handled by our divers. So conditioning to that when they are younger is really beneficial in the long run," said Bottini.
That helps lower the stress level when the sharks have to get health checks.
Their eating habits are also checked once a week to make sure one of the pups isn't hogging all the food.
A pump keeps water circulating in the tank. The temperature is kept at a tropical climate.
Bottini said, "The area that they're from which is the western pacific, in that Indonesian area, doesn't really fluctuate in temperature because of the coral reefs. That's why they are so slender because they are used to swimming in and out of the coral reefs."
Small and cute isn't what we think about sharks. We think huge and scary like a Great White caught off Hilton Head or we think of something death-defying like a sleeping with sharks Airbnb underwater room, but these shark pups will be nothing like that. They'll end up growing to about three feet.
Before this group, there was only one shark pup hatched in the last ten years at Riverbanks, but the question about their parents could be like an episode of Maury.
"We have two females that we know are still reproductively active and we also have two males that are reproductively active so we're not quite sure who is the parents," said Bottini.
No matter the paternity results, these pups will be a great sight for the youngest zoo visitors.
The shark pups probably won't get to the exhibit until at least July.
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