Great Lakes Aquarium Welcomes New Stingrays

Updated: 12/13/2013 6:29 PM
Created: 12/13/2013 5:43 PM
By: Maarja Anderson

From the Florida sea to Duluth. Three Cownose Stingrays are now calling the Great Lakes Aquarium home.

Senior aquarist Barb Kellerman said they aren't your average stingrays.

"They do still go to the bottom to eat, but they swim around pretty much all the time, so they are a lot more interesting to watch," said Kellerman.

Right now the rays are quarantined with other new arrivals, Dusky Smooth Hound Sharks. It's all in preparation for a new saltwater exhibit coming this summer.

"It feels real even though we are still six or seven months away from opening, so to actually have some of the animals coming in for the new display is really exciting for us," said Jay Walker, the aquarium's Director of Operations.

Walker said the stingrays need a little extra tender loving care. After traveling across the country, they're stressed. They're also prone to a parasite, so the aquarium is doing a preventative treatment.

"If we were not to do this and were to have the issue, it's really hard to treat down the road, so we are just going to try and treat it right off the bat,"explained Walker.

It's an oral medication, so one by one they treat the rays.

"It's a little invasive so we are going to put them to sleep to ease their stress a little bit," said Walker.

They sprinkle a little powder that puts them to sleep, then they wait. Once the ray is asleep, they insert a catheter into their mouth, and inject the medicine. Then, right back into the tank they go.

The stingrays have a few more days of treatment, then they'll be ready and healthy to go on the new saltwater exhibit come July.

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