Five blacktip reef shark pups have recently became a part of the marine life at Maui Ocean Center.
At approximately two feet in length, the pups will reside in the Deep Reef exhibit for about a year before they’re released as juveniles back into the ocean. Upon arrival, the pups received a blessing.
A team of aquarists lead by Head Curator John Gorman observed the sharks throughout their quarantine process to ensure they remain in optimal health. Gorman said the sharks have successfully acclimated to their new environment.
Blacktip reef sharks are opportunistic feeders, scavenging the ocean floor for crustaceans, squid, octopus, and bony fish.
Aquarists at the Maui Ocean Center say the species gathers nearshore during the summer months to establish pup nurseries where shallow waters help to protect the pups from larger ocean predators.
The Maui Ocean Center is currently home to nearly 20 sharks and 5 species.