Is Gape pregnant?
Possibly - but then again, maybe not!
She's what Obélix would have defined as tout juste un peu enveloppée, which probably translates best as naturally rotund, so looks may be misleading.
Be it as it may, the lady is a fully mature and very large Fiji Bull Shark and differentiating between her rotundness and outright pregnancy will be difficult, as evidenced by this screenshot from May = way too early for her to show any tell-tale signs.
A 30-foor Bull Shark???
Normally, it's quite easy.
Mating season starts with the Running of the Bulls in December/January and ends in February, and during that time, we keep detailed records of any mating scars as evidenced by the below picture of the equally enormous Naughtylus from February. Thus, we usually have a list of likely suspects which in 2013 includes Sickle, Tip, Granma, Valerie, Chica, Nani and Brenda.
But Gape only turned up later and by then, any scars would have healed, meaning that we will have to rely on visual inspections and on personal intuition - and my intuition says, she is expecting!
I interpret those lines, and the wrinkles around the gills as being age marks - but who knows!
As always, we shall see.
If she is, she will become positively obese by latest September, and then depart for the river nurseries at the end of her 10-11 month gestation period which I would expect to be rather December than mid-November owing to the fact the that water temperatures (which influence embryonic development) are already heading towards positively chilly - and thank you again Fourth Element!
All pretty exciting, really!
Keep watching this space for updates!