Vets at SeaWorld perform first C-section on shark


A team of shark experts and veterinarians prepare to perform a groundbreaking procedure - a Cesarean section - on a whitetip reef shark at Discovery Cove.

ORLANDO, Fla. - For the first time in SeaWorld’s history, a Cesarean section has been performed on a shark. A team of shark experts and veterinarians performed the groundbreaking procedure on a whitetip reef shark at Discovery Cove, SeaWorld’s sister park, in Orlando on July 18, 2013.

Six months into the shark’s gestation, the park’s animal team noticed a complication with her pregnancy and determined an emergency C-section was necessary.

Whitetip reef sharks give birth to live young.  In this case, four healthy pups were born.  The pups each weighed less than three pounds at birth (1.04 kg-1.25 kg) and were about two feet long (58 cm-62 cm.). The Discovery Cove animal team and vets are continuing to monitor mom and her pups, who are doing well and eating and behaving normally. While these sharks are currently behind the scenes at Discovery Cove, guests can see other whitetip reef shark through glass while snorkeling in The Grand Reef or when participating in SeaVenture, an underwater walking tour where guests -- wearing dive helmets – are able to explore life under the sea.

Discovery Cove is an all-inclusive day resort experience where guests enjoy a one-of-a-kind opportunity to swim with dolphins, snorkel with rays and tropical fish, hand-feed exotic birds and relax on pristine beaches. To discover more, visit and follow us on Facebook.