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Manta delivers at Churaumi Aquarium

Date Posted: 2008-06-21

The baby is doing fine, thank you, and mom and dad are elated over the birth of a healthy manta ray.
After a 366-day pregnancy, the mother manta ray gave birth Tuesday, only the second manta ray born in captivity. The same manta gave birth in June 2007, but that baby died when only six days old. Churaumi Aquarium staff say the first baby died after being chased into a wall by its father.
Aquarium officials are taking no chances this go around, immediately moving the baby into a separate holding pond. The baby is reported healthy, with a width measuring 1.8 meters. Manta rays generally grown to more than 6.7 meters.
The father manta is the longest living resident of an aquarium, going to the northern Okinawa aquarium after being caught in a fisherman’s net in 1992. The mother has been at Churaumi Aquarium since being trapped in fixed shore nets of a Yomitan fisherman in 1998.
A Churaumi Aquarium spokesman says the staff is keeping a close eye on the baby, and promises “we’ll see how it works out. We hope to make the baby available to the public soon.”

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