We had the joy of welcoming a southern stingray pup in our 20,000-gallon Paws On Aquarium on Monday, June 10! At just over a week old, it was time for the as-yet-unnamed newborn to receive a neonatal exam.
Veterinarian Dr. Trevor Zachariah and his team looked at the pup’s body condition, measured its weight and determined that… it’s a boy! He also collected a blood sample from the stingray in order to do a complete blood count and biochemistry panel. A microchip was placed in the newborn so that we can identify him from the rest of our “fever” of stingrays.
Finally, Dr. Zachariah performed an ultrasound on the stingray pup to evaluate his internal organs. Although we are still waiting for the bloodwork results, everything looked normal for our newest baby!
This new addition is the third stingray born at the Zoo after Dallas and Clementine, who were born in May 2018. The newborn is currently living in a nursery space within the aquarium and can be viewed by guests while he grows. Keepers say that he is an active pup until it’s time for a nap—then he becomes an expert at hide and seek!
Southern stingrays are found in the western Atlantic Ocean and are well-known along our Florida coastline, living both in the Indian River Lagoon and the ocean. These cartilaginous fish are completely self-sufficient upon birth, ready to locate food and protect themselves using their tail barbs.