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Food Prep @CLEAquarium: Shark Pole Feed

Sr. Aquarist Brenton M. shows you what and how we feed the sharks. (Stick with it and you can see another Shark Gallery resident snag a treat.)

Hi everyone! My name is Brent Maille. I’m the Senior Aquarist here at the Greater Cleveland Aquarium. Today we’re gonna talk a little bit about our shark feed. So we typically pole feed our sharks.

A lot of people can ask what we feed our sharks and what it kind of looks like and what the preparation for that is. Today we’re going to be feeding our sharks. We have actually prethawed some mackerel here and typically for every shark feed we’ll feed between 18 and 20 pounds of fish. We rotate through a variety of fish, so some days we’ll use mackerel, herring, mullet, bonito and sometimes we’ll get in specialty food items like skate and different types of seasonal foods.

We try to recreate what they would be eating in the ocean as best as we can here at the Aquarium. In addition to that we can also do vitamin supplementation with our food here. The vitamins are small, little capsules we actually can then put inside of the fish before it’s fed out. Sometimes just like your pets at home or maybe even the kids, they don’t want to take the medicine, so we can sneak it in their favorite fish items and they eat it quite a bit better that way.

After our fish here is all thawed out we’re ready to feed it. We will then take it out to our feeding platform in the exhibit. Two aquarists we’ll go out there, we’ll feed the sharks on the end of a big, long pole and typically even though we call it a shark feed, we’re not forcing the animals to eat.

We’ll offer it to them and our sharks have kind of picked up on the behaviors that when the pole is in the water and there’s fish on the end of it, that’s the time to come over and eat. That way they can kind of differentiate this food is intended for you. We typically don’t have any issues with them picking up on that idea and that way they’re not chasing after their tank mates and trying to think that they’re food.

Where to find @CLEAquarium: Shark Gallery

Author: Brenton M.

No popsicles needed . . . a blue-tongued skink sticks out its naturally blue tongue to scare away predators. Learn more about reptiles and lizards at our daily animal encounters.

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