Rare stingray debuts at SEA Aquarium

Rare stingray debuts at SEA Aquarium

Ornate ray stingray
SEA Aquarium's male ornate eagle ray arrived on Aug 24 from Cairns Marine. (Photo: Resorts World Sentosa) 

SINGAPORE: One of the world's rarest stingrays has joined the SEA Aquarium's marine life collection at Resorts World Sentosa (RWS). 

The endangered ornate eagle ray, which arrived from Cairns Marine on Aug 24, is "the first of its kind to be featured in zoos and aquariums worldwide", RWS said in a press release on Thursday (Nov 23).  

The male stingray has a 1.2m wingspan and weighs 15kg. The species is known for its distinct pattern of reticulate dark lines and rings on its back. 

Visitors to the aquarium can spot the ornate eagle ray at the Shipwreck Habitat, along with other threatened species such as the shark ray, green sea turtle and hawksbill turtle, RWS said. 

Ornate eagle ray 2
Rays usually have a stinging barb on its tail, but the ornate eagle ray is not equipped with one. (Photo: Resorts World Sentosa) 

Senior vice president of attractions for RWS Jason Horkins said: "The ornate eagle ray is indeed an extremely rare and precious wonder in our marine life collection.

"We are pleased it has settled comfortably into its new home at SEA Aquarium and has even responded positively to our aquarists during feeding sessions."

Mr Horkins added that in the long run, RWS hopes to collaborate with "reputable insitutions" to introduce females to the aquarium to kickstart the world's first conservation breeding programme for the ornate eagle ray species under human care. 

The species is listed as endangered in the International Union Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list of threatened species.

The main threat to the species is accidental capture by fishermen in the waters of Australia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Taiwan and Thailand, RWS said, adding that it has a low reproduction rate. 

collage RWS fish
The Mauritius triggerfish (top left), Argentine humphead (top right), bat ray (bottom right) and honeycomb cowfish (bottom left). (Photos: RWS)  

Besides the ornate eagle ray, the aquarium has welcomed four other latest additions which are the Argentine humphead, Mauritius triggerfish, honeycomb cowfish and bat ray. 

Santa RWS aquarium
The scuba santa and elves underwater adventures show will be conducted up to twice a day this holiday season. (Photo: RWS) 

Guests can also look forward to the aquarium's annual "scuba santa and elves" programme where divers dressed in Santa Claus and elves outfits will dive among the marine life, providing them with "special enrichment treats". 

Source: CNA/am