Historic shark ray pregnancies are progressing as expected.
NEWPORT, Ky. — Newport Aquarium confirmed Tuesday, that its pregnant shark ray, Sweet Pea, has been moved to the aquarium’s offsite animal health facility for further monitoring as her due date approaches.
“The transfer went smoothly, thanks to the dedicated team of biologists we have here at the aquarium,” said Mark Dvornak, Newport Aquarium’s General Curator. “The husbandry team continues its diligent work of preparing for the arrival of the shark ray pups.”
On Oct. 14, Newport Aquarium announced both its female shark rays, Sweet Pea and Sunshine were pregnant– the second and third documented cases of shark ray breeding under professional animal care in the world.
Here’s a short video of Sweet Pea swimming in Newport Aquarium’s Surrounded by Sharks exhibit from 2007 when the Shark Ray Breeding Program began.
Sunshine, the aquarium’s second pregnant shark ray, can still be found in the Surrounded By Sharks exhibit, where she is expected to remain until closer to giving birth.
Newport Aquarium veterinarian Dr. Peter Hill, who first confirmed Sweet Pea and Sunshine’s were pregnant estimates their due dates are within two to three months, with Sweet Pea expected to deliver first. Watch Sunshine’s ultrasound here.
Nearly seven years after Newport Aquarium established the Shark Ray Breeding Program, Sweet Pea became the first shark ray to give birth while under professional animal care on Jan. 24, 2014.
For more information on Newport Aquarium, visit NewportAquarium.com or call toll free 800-406-FISH (3474). Connect with Newport Aquarium on Facebook and Twitter, or subscribe to its blog, for the most up-to-date news regarding the shark ray pregnancies.
Newport Aquarium has showcased thousands of animals from around the world in a million gallons of water since May 15, 1999. Named one of the best aquariums in the U.S. by Travel Channel and USA Today, 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 located across the Ohio River from downtown Cincinnati at Newport on the Levee.
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