Our tiger ray birthed four pups at the beginning of January! FOUR! While currently only about 14 inches long and 5 inches in diameter, these guys will eventually grow to be up to 2 feet long and 31 inches wide. The pups are residing in a behind-the-scenes area so that our aquatic team can monitor food intake and growth.
You can see their parents in MOLA in the Flooded Forest habitat (and in the video we’ve shared, you can see their gigantic size!). These two individuals (the parents) were born in human care and have yielded the first successful second-generation birth of this species in managed populations! This is incredibly special as there are less than 30 individuals in U.S. zoos and aquariums. Eventually the pups will move to other institutions for breeding purposes and contribute to a genetically diverse and healthy population of this endangered species. In the wild, the tiger ray is found in South America, primarily in the Peruvian portion of the Amazon River, though numbers have declined due to overfishing, illegal fish trade and water pollution.