Phoenix Zoo Stingray Pup Transported to New Home Across Town

29 May 2015 2:09 PM | Deleted user

TEMPE, AZ - The Phoenix Zoo gave up one of its babies on Wednesday.

"I think everyone loves baby animals -- us included -- so it's super exciting for us to get a new ray," said Steve Bitter, curator at Sea Life Arizona Aquarium.

It is moving day for a young cownose stingray. The folks at the Phoenix Zoo captured the stingray with a net then prepared it for a trip across town.

"Our pup was born pretty late in the season to when we normally have them and it was a good year of stingray pups," said Sarah Ekstrom of the Phoenix Zoo. "We had 16 total and, of course, our last one was born after all of our other pups were sent out."

So the pup came to join two other stingray pups that came from the Phoenix Zoo earlier this year at its new home at the Sea Life Arizona Aquarium at Arizona Mills Mall in Tempe.

He's moved from a cooler-sized tank for transport to a bigger pool where he's kept all alone -- for now.

"He's in a quarantine situation right now and we're just going to keep him isolated right now, make sure he's acclimated really well to a new set of environmental stresses, a new set of water-quality parameters," Bitter said. "We just want to make sure he adjusts really well to his new home."

Curators match the pH levels in the water and make sure the stingray gets enough oxygen before moving into the big tank with other sea animals.

And the move keeps the stingray pup with others its age so it doesn't have to fight off adult stingrays for food.

"It's a big conservation message," Ekstrom said. "We can breed animals in captivity and send them out to places like Sea Life and send them out to other aquariums in the area then we're not pulling animals from the wild. This definitely helps save the species."

The Phoenix Zoo got two sharks from Sea Life this year and this trade is good for the animals, the zoos and the people who come to visit.

"This is something that you don't necessarily think of when you think of Arizona, but it's really, really fun to be able to work together with our neighbors and bring them to people who wouldn't normally get to see them in our backyard," Bitter said.

Bitter expects it will take about three to four weeks before the new pup is ready to join its friends in the big tank.

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