New shark film for SA

By Mpume Madlal, IOL News 
30 September 2011

Four cameramen have spent the past six weeks at uShaka Marine World, watching Cathy, the ragged-tooth shark, 24 hours a day, because if they lose concentration they could miss a magic moment.

They want to be the first to capture on film a ragged-tooth shark giving birth.

uShaka Marine World spokesman Ann Kuns said Cathy, nicknamed “Miss X” by staff, had been spotted mating last year in November. The gestation period for a shark is anything between nine and 12 months.

“About six weeks ago, film company, Earth Touch, set up their camera equipment waiting to capture the big delivery on film,” said Kuns.

She said Cathy was expected to deliver two healthy pups any time now.

The four cameramen had, for past six weeks, been working six-hour shifts each. Kuns said it had been a long wait because everyone thought she would give birth five weeks ago.

“When you look at her she just swims around and shows no signs that anything is about to happen. The tricky part is she could give birth at any second, minute or hour, making it hard for the crew to stop watching in case they miss it.”

Having the cameras filming “Miss X” has also stirred interest among visitors in the aquarium who all want to know what is happening, and, once they know, become even more curious and excited.

Greg Duffy of Earth Touch said he and the other cameramen – Keaghan Spaan, Peter Kohne and Tyrone Krause – can’t wait for that special moment.

Duffy said in nature the only time to see pregnant ragged-tooth sharks was at Sodwana Bay, where they rest before heading out to sea to deliver their pups.

“The only other shark births that have been documented are of the lemon shark and tiger shark, making this a very rare opportunity,” said Duffy.

Creative director, Graham Duane, will be in the water with a camera on the day the shark finally does give birth.

Source: IOL News


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