A vegetarian shark sounds kinda like a vegetarian vampire in that when you take away the snapping jaws and blood in the water, much of what makes either of them compelling rapidly vanishes as well.
Yes, a vegetarian shark is probably more fun to swim with, but picture what Shark Week would be like if the programming was interspersed with footage of our fierce, ocean-dwelling friends laying the hell into a Factory Salad at the Cheesecake Factory instead of some unsuspecting, docile fish. For some reason, a vegetarian shark chomping into a loosely-tossed plateful of organic field greens doesn’t have the same appeal.
Florence is a vegetarian shark living in a British sea life center, and perhaps like Carlisle Cullen, she didn’t start out life quite so benignly. But circumstances changed, and along with them, Florence made the switch from murderous sharky creature to peace loving, veggie eating hippie shark.
How did it happen? io9 explains that surgery to remove a fishing hook prompted six-foot-long Florence to shift from meat eater to vegetarian shark:
“Three years ago, when Florence arrived at the National Sea Life Centre from Florida, her caretakers discovered that she had a fishing hook lodged deep inside her mouth. She received a groundbreaking out-of-water surgery, making her the first shark to survive such an operation.”
The site continues, describing the aftermath of Florence’s life-altering surgery. Spoiler alert: no surfers were munched upon:
“But after Florence healed up, she didn’t return to her protein-rich diet. When her keepers offer her fish, she refuses to eat, instead stealing vegetables meant for her green turtle roommate. A nurse shark eating the occasional bit of algae isn’t unusual, but for a shark to turn down meat entirely is unheard of.”
Whether or not the vegetarian shark sparkles has not been disclosed by the National Sea Life Centre.