Shark performs 'caesarean' on tank mate

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Visitors to an aquarium in New Zealand had a bit of a shock after witnessing an impromptu caesarean section performed on a pregnant mother shark by another shark.

The shark attack occurred at Kelly Tarlton's Underwater World in Auckland. Visitors alerted staff after witnessing a shark biting another shark and then seeing things hanging from the gaping wound.

On investigation, there were found to be four baby sharks swimming around the tank. The shark was taken to a vet to be stitched up and a further four sharks were found inside. The pups were removed and placed in a nursery tank where all eight are said to be doing well.

Kelly Tarlton's aquarist Fiona Davies said that it was common for sharks to take chunks out of each other, but she had never heard of anything like this. She continued:

This probably saved their lives. Had they been born naturally at night it is likely that other sharks and stingrays would have eaten them before staff had a chance to remove them.

The sharks are believed to be school sharks, which grow up to 1.7 metres in length and are common around Auckland and New Zealand. Staff did not know that the shark was pregnant.