A Florida zoo is mourning the tragic lack of 12 stingrays whose deaths stay a thriller.
Workers at ZooTampa say circumstances of their tank had been “optimum,” and additional mechanical and chemical testing of the stingray habitat has but to disclose any clues since they had been discovered useless on Might 27 — the day of the zoo’s grand reopening after closing in the course of the pandemic.
“It’s with heavy hearts we share that immediately ZooTampa misplaced 12 residents of Stingray Bay,” learn a somber message on the zoo’s Fb web page.
“Please preserve our workforce in your ideas — each skilled right here loves the animals we take care of, and any loss is a troublesome one,” they wrote.
Based on the Tampa Bay Occasions, the stingrays died all of a sudden, inside an hour of staffers reporting their irregular habits. Veterinarians had been referred to as instantly however arrived moments too late.
ZooTampa’s 16,000-gallon stingray tank featured three totally different stingray species — seven cownose, 4 southern and one Atlantic — all of whom had been affected by the identical mysterious sickness. The lack of captive cownose is especially disconcerting, as they’re thought of a susceptible species within the wild, in keeping with the Worldwide Union for Conservation of Nature.
“We’re emotionally exhausted,” Dr. Cynthia Stringfield, senior vice chairman of animal well being, conservation and training on the zoo, informed the Tampa Bay Occasions. “[May 27] was only a horrible day. It’s like a day trip of your nightmares, just about … We’re actually targeted on making an attempt to unravel what occurred.”
A “meticulous” investigation continues, in keeping with ZooTampa’s official assertion, promising to discover “each chance” and issuing toxicology reviews, although the info might take weeks to course of. They’ve additionally invited “exterior specialists” to hitch the hassle, mentioned Stringfield.
Within the meantime, some 1,000 zoogoers have come to social media to pay condolences to “devastated” zoo staffers and share fond reminiscences of their encounters at Stingray Bay.
“RIP little floating pancakes,” mentioned one fan of ZooTampa’s fever — the phrase for a gaggle of stingrays. The quirky remark provided a little bit of levity to the solemn event — and drew almost 50 likes of its personal.
Stated Stringfield, “The outpouring of help and seeing how a lot these animals impacted the neighborhood — that was one thing actually wonderful.”