Endangered sand tiger shark born at Japanese aquarium

An endangered sand tiger shark has given birth at an aquarium in Ibaraki Prefecture, north of Tokyo.

Aqua World Ibaraki Prefecture Oarai Aquarium announced that the female baby, born on May 7, is just over 90 centimeters long and weighs roughly 5 kilograms.

The sand tiger shark can measure up to 3 meters in length and inhabits many oceans, including waters near Japan. Japan's Environment Ministry says the species is at high risk of extinction in the wild in the near future.

Aquarium officials say sand tiger sharks are very difficult to inseminate and have reproduced at only five aquariums around the world.

This is the second time Aqua World Oarai has successfully bred the same pair of sharks, following a previous birth in 2021.

Officials say the baby is healthy and they are aiming to show it to the public in the same tank as her sister.

Chief shark keeper Tokunaga Kotaro says he is ecstatic that they have succeeded with the second birth. He says it's a rare opportunity to be able to see the baby of an endangered species, so he hopes people will visit.