World’s First Vegetarian Shark Prefers Heads of Lettuce

Sharks have garnered a well-deserved reputation as the ocean’s most ferocious killers, capable of sniffing out a single drop of blood in the water from miles away — but for one nurse shark at an aquatic center in the UK, the taste of meat appears to have lost its luster.

Three years ago, a 6-foot-long shark named Florence grabbed headlines by getting to be the first of her kind to undergo a groundbreaking ‘out of water’ surgical procedure to remove a rusty fish hook lodged in her gut. Even though she made a outstanding recovery and was later place on exhibit at the Birmingham National Sea Life Center in England, Florence would ultimately show that becoming a good patient wasn’t her only distinction.

As it turns out, the Florence’s close brush with death-by-fisherman would seem to have left a lasting impression on her — namely, that meaty treats indicate problems. Much to her keepers’ astonishment, the fearsome carnivore has made a instead unprecedented dietary turn now the only heads she cares to gnash are heads of lettuce.

To be fair, nurse sharks in the wild are acknowledged to occasionally graze on algae, and the rigors of gastronomical surgery can take their toll — but Florence appears to have taken on a meatless life style full time.

According to Graham Burrows of the Sea Life Center, the shark has gone “entirely veggie”.

Whilst Florence’s new-found vegetarianism might otherwise be celebrated, wildlife experts quickly recognized that they had to get her to consume meat one way or another in order to provide her with the suitable nutrition that a shark demands.

“We’re getting to hide pieces of fish within celery sticks, hollowed out cucumbers and amongst the leaves of lettuces to get her to consume them,” Burrows tells Marketing and advertising Birmingham. “And it has to be well hidden, since if she realises it is there she’ll ignore the providing and wait for the strictly vegetarian solution.

Sources and more information:

• Florence, Birmingham’s vegetarian shark

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