The Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium in southern Japan is busy these days with a new guest. The authorities there are quite overjoyed with a cute giant manta ray, believed to be the first of its kind born in captivity.
The aquarium authorities recorded birth of the baby manta, a female, and it was shown on national broadcaster NHK.
The aquarium started raising manta rays long back in 1988 but this was the first time that they managed to breed one in captivity.
Noriyasu Suzuki works at the Izu-Mito Sea Paradise commercial aqua zoo in western Japan and he too believes this is quite an achievement for the authorities at Okinawa.
I’ve never heard of any other case before. Aquariums that raise manta rays are rare to begin with … because they get so big.
The aquarium kept minute details of the manta’s birth, according to which, the mother manta was brought in 1998 after it hit a fishnet. It mated with the father manta on June 8 last year and delivered the baby after a pregnancy period that lasted 374 days.
Not much is known about the manta rays and aquarium officials hope their data would prove valuable in the understanding of the species.