A baby banded cat shark at Hervey Bay’s Reefworld.
A baby banded cat shark at Hervey Bay’s Reefworld. Alistair Brightman

Reefworld hatches baby sharks

EVERY year Greg Wolff from Hervey Bay Reefworld sees the tiny sharks developing in their transparent eggs – but the experience never loses its magic for him.

Visitors to the aquarium love to gaze in wonder as the embryos within the eggs develop fins and a tail.

“It’s good fun to watch,” he says. “We can watch the sharks develop right in front of us.”

Mr Wolff said it was not just the youngest visitors who loved to see it – “even the biggest, boofiest blokes are amazed by it”.

The sharks start nursing eggs around November.

“They usually do a trial run, where they lay eggs without anything in them.”

After that the sharks will lay about 32 eggs each. It takes about four months for the shark to be born.

Mr Wolff said it was also a great sight to see plenty of young sharks darting around the tank.

He said the sharks were like miniature versions of their parents but they tended to be covered in brown and white stripes, which would gradually fade as they grew older.

The baby sharks were then either given to other aquariums or released into the wild.

Watching the eggs develop hasn’t been the only excitement around Reefworld lately, however – a small green turtle was brought into the aquarium after people noticed it struggling in Hervey Bay waters.

The turtle floats, which means it is unable to feed on the algae and seagrass it needs to survive.

“Eventually it will become hungry and weak.”

The turtle was treated with antibiotics and then taken to Australia Zoo to be looked after by the team at the 24-hour animal hospital.

Mr Wolff said the turtle was in better shape than other turtles he had seen with the same affliction and he was hopeful it would recover.

“It seems quite alert.

“It all depends on how he responds to treatment.”

If the turtle does respond well it will be returned to Hervey Bay and released back into the wild.

‘It’s good fun to watch. We can watch the sharks develop right in front of us’



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