The San Diego Zoo welcomed its first sharks ever, with 12 leopard sharks moving into the all-new Conrad Prebys Africa Rocks exhibit Wednesday.
Although the San Diego Zoo has been the home for hundreds of species of animals in the past century, this marks the first time the zoo has ever displayed sharks, said zookeepers.
“We are very excited to have sharks on display in this new, beautiful aquatic habitat at Africa Rocks,” said Kim Lovich, the curator of herpetology and ichthyology of the San Diego Zoo, in a statement.
"Our reptile team has been training for over a year to learn the skills necessary to care for the shark, and the saltwater pool in which they reside," added Lovich.
SeaWorld San Diego has donated the leopard sharks to the zoo, said zookeepers. The sharks were delivered to the new Cape Fynbos habitat at Africa Rocks last Friday.
When the sharks arrived, animal care specialists carefully moved them from traveling containers into holding pools behind their new habitat.
“So far we have released 10 sharks into the exhibit pool. They appear to be doing very well, showing nice swim patterns and swimming in both the shallow and deep ends,” said Ben Nevitt, DVM, the associate veterinarian of the San Diego Zoo, in a statement.
“The penguins are showing a slight interest in the shark, but both the penguins and shark appear to be settling in nicely together in their exhibit," said Nevitt.