Singapore’s SEA Aquarium has successfully bred a shark ray pup, a tropical species listed as vulnerable. In fact, this baby shark pup is part of 500 babies, from about 10 species (five listed as threatened), born from October 2015 to April 2016 being showcased at the aquarium for Mother’s Day.
The shark ray pup weighs about six kilograms and is just over a meter in length. It was one of eight pups born last November and the only one to survive as the other seven pups died within days of birth. The shark ray gets its name because it has a broad front section like a ray and dual dorsal fins on its back like a shark. It is mainly found in tropical waters.
“Very few data has been collected about their habitats and their feeding diets,” said Curator for Large Exhibit at the S.E.A. Aquarium Akira Yeo about the challenges in raisin a shark ray pup. “Challenges include dietary requirements – the nutrition factor in upkeeping this very elusive species of ray. We need to supplement with a bit of vitamins and minerals to ensure that the health is taken care of.”
Other “babies” included in the exhibit include four Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin calves, Banggai cardinalfish, and two black-blotched stingrays.
“We abide by all international rules, laws and regulation as well as local regulation. That’s the first thing we do to ensure that conservation of any particular species. The second thing is we provide the best husbandry, animal care and good passionate staff that really do care the animals we have here,” said Assistant Director of Animal Health and Research SEA Aquarium Andrew Clarke.