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Young sharks settle into their new home at Weymouth Sea Life Park
Shark pups got their first experience of other fish after almost a year in quarantine.
The trio of 10-month-old tropical blacknose sharks, which have been bred in captivity, were introduced to a teeming reef tank for the first time at Weymouth Sea Life Park.
Marine experts kept a close eye on the shark pups, which measure under 3ft, in case they were spooked by their colourful new roommates.
Curator Fiona Smith said they seemed nervous for a minute or two before settling into their new home.
She said: “They were born in captivity in America and from birth were kept in a quarantine tank with just each other for company.
“They have spent the last few months in another quarantine tank at Weymouth, so were probably convinced it was just them and few kindly humans in the whole world.
“They have that classic sleek silvery profile that most people expect sharks to have, but are no threat whatsoever to humans.”
The trio are destined for the tropical ocean tank in the Manchester Sea Life Centre this summer but need to be acclimatised to sharing with other fish and being admired by visitors before they go.
Fiona added: “We need to train them to take food from a target stick so that when they get to Manchester the team there can make sure each gets its full quota of food.
“We have moved out some other sharks that were already in our reef display that may have been aggressive towards the newcomers, to make their introduction to other marine life as gentle as possible.
“We’re really excited to be giving these three their public debut here in Weymouth and they look fantastic.”
l The blacknose shark can grow to just over 4ft in length and is silvery in colour with a distinctive dark blotch on the nose.
In the wild it is preyed on by other larger sharks.
Blacknoses feed on smaller bony fish, squid, cuttlefish and octopus.