Mother Earth Monday: Florence the Vegetarian Shark

I knew some sharks like to eat algae but a shark that ONLY eats veggies?  Florence is a six-foot nurse shark at the Birmingham sea life center and following an operation in 2009 to remove a rusty hook from her jaw, she has completely stopped eating her normal prey.

Curator Graham Burrows said: ‘We’re having to hide pieces of fish inside celery sticks, hollowed out cucumbers and between the leaves of lettuces to get her to eat them.

‘And it has to be well hidden, because if she realizes it’s there she’ll ignore the offering and wait for the strictly vegetarian option.’

Florence’s mouth is filled with razor-sharp, serrated teeth designed for demolishing fish and crustaceans.

Instead she uses them for pulping broccoli and cabbage and any other greens she can steal from fellow ocean tank resident Molokai the green turtle.

It is not the first time Florence has caused her guardians some concern.

‘She was off her food for a good while when she first arrived from Florida with three other nurse sharks at our main collection centre in Dorset,’ said Graham.

‘She was given an ultrasound scan which revealed a fishing hook buried deep inside her mouth.’

Read more here.