Animal Health Update: Zoe the Zebra Shark

The female zebra shark in our care, nicknamed Zoe, was previously recovering at the Animal Care and Rescue Center after a short period of illness.

Published October 05, 2018

Update, October 5: After spending a few weeks at the Animal Care and Rescue Center, Zoe has returned home to Blacktip Reef. Diagnostic tests have indicated Zoe has greatly improved! She has since gained weight and has shown a renewed interest in food.

Animal Care and Welfare staff continue to monitor Zoe’s behavior as she readjusts to life in Blacktip Reef.

Original Post, July 21: In early July, Animal Care and Welfare staff noted that Zoe became less interested in food and had stopped eating for multiple days.

Zoe in the Animal Care and Rescue Center

Fasting periods can be normal in sharks, such as during certain phases of a female shark’s reproductive cycle, but Zoe’s loss of appetite lasted longer than normal cycles.

Animal Health staff performed a medical exam and diagnostic tests on Zoe, including blood analysis and an ultrasound, and came to the conclusion that a bacterial infection was the cause of her appetite loss. She was transferred over to our new Animal Care and Rescue Center for treatment in late July.

We’re happy to report that Zoe’s appetite is improving! Staff will continue to monitor her appetite, behavior and weight during her recovery period.

Zoe will continue to reside at the Animal Care and Rescue as she improves. Once her appetite and strength are fully recovered, she will return to Blacktip Reef, which she shares with a fellow zebra shark, a male nicknamed Zeke.

Stay tuned for more animal health updates!

Previous Post

Featured Stories

Rescue turtle Rescue to Release, Part 3: Caring for Cold-Stunned Sea Turtles

Every year, the National Aquarium rehabilitates sea turtles after they're found cold-stunned in Cape Cod Bay.

Read the full story

Sally Ride Animal Rescue Update: Second Harp Seal Admitted

National Aquarium Animal Rescue is now caring for a second female harp seal.

Read the full story

Related Stories

Animal Rescue Update: February Sea Turtle Release

Published February 27, 2019

Animal Rescue Update: Second Harp Seal Admitted

Published February 26, 2019