A small shark had a Valentine’s Day for the books this year after she was released into the ocean following months of rehab at the Vancouver Aquarium.
The shark, which is a variety called a North Pacific spiny dogfish that can live to be 100 years old, was found by a beachgoer at Stanley Park.
Aquarium staff found her tangled in a fishing net, weak and disoriented from cuts and scrapes, a damaged spiracle (a type gill) and blood in one eye.
“We were very worried that she would not make it through the night, but by morning she was showing signs of improvement,” said head veterinarian Dr. Martin Haulena.
The shark soon began to swim on her own, and within two weeks, was eating squid out of a biologist’s hand before eventually foraging for her own food.
“It’s been a long road to recovery for this spiny dogfish and she’s come so far. When her skin lesions were no longer visible, her spiracle and eye healed, and her strength and energy regained, we knew she was ready to return to the wild,” said senior aquarium biologist Justin Lisaingo.
“Seeing her healthy and able to swim away was incredibly rewarding.”
(Video footage courtesy of OceanWise)