Most shark stories have to do with the capture of enormous specimens, or attacks on humans by sharks that mistake surfers and swimmers as prey.
The following story, however, is of the heartwarming variety, involving a colorful shark named Panda, saved by a student in Queensland, Australia, and his dad.
Panda is a brownbanded bamboo shark, whose life began inside of an egg, which somehow became snarled in a net found by a Dunwich State School pupil named Laurence, and his dad.
The egg was delivered to the University of Queensland’s Moreton Bay Research Station and Study Centre just before Christmas.
On Monday, the research facility broke the happy news on Facebook:
“We have been monitoring her all that time, and late last night she finally hatched! She had her first feed this morning and is happy and healthy. We will release her once she is a bit bigger and able to fend for herself.”
Brownbanded bamboo sharks, which are found in the Indo-West Pacific from Japan to about northern Australia, are hardy predators that can reach lengths of nearly four feet. They prey on small fish and crustaceans, and pose no danger to humans.
Their striking appearance makes them popular as aquarium pets, but of course they belong in the wild.
The Moreton Bay facility announced that Panda will be set free once she “can fend for herself.” Laurence and his dad are expected to participate in the release.
–Image of Panda courtesy of the Moreton Bay Research Station and Study Centre