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Congratulations mom! It’s a 70 kilogram girl!

Date Posted: 2009-07-02

It was anything but a quiet and routine labor and delivery session, and witnesses to the birth of Churaumi Aquarium’s newest manta ray held their collective breaths, then cheered when momma manta finally delivered.

It was the third manta ray birth to the same mother at the northern Okinawa aquarium, and it provided plenty of excitement for school groups on tour who were able to watch the hours-long labor drama. The mother manta struggled to deliver, but it finally took a bit of help from a great whale shark that swam up to the manta and pushed its stomach. The whale shark’s action led to the birth moments later.

The aquarium’s newest manta is female, 192 centimeters long, and weighs 70 kilograms. It swam smoothly immediately after birth. The staff, mindful of the death of a manta last year because it was kept in the tank, has moved to baby manta to a fishpond prepared outside the main aquarium. The new pond gives the baby manta plenty of room to maneuver and grow.

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