Blacktip reef shark
Encountering not two, but four sharks in the shark basin made for a big surprise: according to Dierenpark (Animal park) Emmen in the Netherlands this is a unique event, as blacktip reef sharks had not been known to reproduce in captivity.
The male and female blacktip reef shark have lived at Dierenpark Emmen for about ten years, as they do in many zoos. This is a relatively small (to 1.8 m long), very active shark species easily kept in aquariums. In the wild, blacktip reef sharks can be found in the more shallow coastal waters of both the Indian and Pacific Oceans, and also in the Mediterranean.
Despite the fact that this shark species is so widely kept, these animals do not reproduce in captivity. The keepers in Emmen had noticed that the female had gotten slightly fatter, but as pregnancy was not known to be a possibility, it was not suspected – making the baby sharks of 30 and 35 cm long a complete surprise. This species is viviparous: the young are born live instead of hatching from eggs. Incidentally, these two young sharks were removed from the large aquarium, as their parents regarded them as food. Visitors can view the two small sharks in a smaller aquarium.