Jan. 24, 2014 officially recognized as “Sweet Pea Day” in Cincinnati
NEWPORT, Ky. – City of Cincinnati Councilman Chris Seelbach on Wednesday morning presented Newport Aquarium with a mayoral proclamation that declared Jan. 24, 2014 as “Sweet Pea Day” in Cincinnati.
The proclamation inked with Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley’s signature recognized Newport Aquarium for being “a pioneer and international leader in the care and exhibition of shark rays in captivity, being the first, and one of the largest and rarest exhibits of shark rays in the world.”
Seelbach delivered the official City of Cincinnati document to Newport Aquarium Vice President and Executive Director Eric Rose at the Shark Ray Bay Theater.
“Newport Aquarium is flattered to be recognized by our regional friends,” said Rose. “We would like to thank Mayor Cranley, Councilman Seelbach and the City of Cincinnati for acknowledging Newport Aquarium as a jewel attraction for the tri-state.”
Jan. 24, 2014 marked the day that shark ray Sweet Pea gave birth to seven pups. This historical event was the result of the first confirmed breeding of two shark rays in captivity thanks to Newport Aquarium’s revolutionary Shark Ray Breeding Program.
Sweet Pea, the first shark ray to go on display in the Western Hemisphere in 2005, returned to the Surrounded by Sharks exhibit Tuesday afternoon
Wednesday marked her first full day back from maternity care at an off-site facility in Newport.
Additionally, the proclamation acknowledged Newport Aquarium for serving Greater Cincinnati since 1999 as an outstanding educational and entertainment resource to its residents.
Newport Aquarium also revealed Wednesday that over the past month since their historical births, all seven pups have passed away, with the final pup passing Monday evening.
“We are mourning the passing of the shark ray pups,” said Chris Pierson, director of husbandry operations. “Our husbandry staff has poured its collective hearts into caring for these animals, working around the clock to give them every opportunity to develop. Since this is the first time shark rays have bred in captivity, we were in uncharted territory. The knowledge and experience that we’ve gained has been vast and will hopefully assist us in the future.”
For more information on Sweet Pea and the Shark Ray Breeding Program, visit NewportAquarium.com or call toll free 800-406-FISH (3474).
Newport Aquarium, the No. 1 aquarium in the country according to USA Today’s 10Best.com, showcases thousands of animals from around the world in a million gallons of water. Named a 2013 top U.S. aquarium by Travel Channel, Newport Aquarium is a Herschend Family Entertainment company and an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Newport Aquarium is open to the public 365 days a year and is located across the Ohio River from downtown Cincinnati at Newport on the Levee.