This Mother’s Day, we’re celebrating a baby boom with over 500 babies from close to 10 species born or hatched between October 2015 and April 2016.
Amongst these are five threatened species, including a shark ray pup, as well as the black-blotched stingray and the endangered Banggai cardinalfish. Let’s take a closer look at these adorable little ones:
Shark ray pup
Born on 10 November 2015, our shark ray pup is one of the world’s first to be born and successfully raised under professional human care.
Listed as ‘Vulnerable’ in the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List of Threatened Species, the shark ray is difficult to breed under human care. Little research has been done on the biology or population status of this species, and pups are known for their high mortality rates. In fact, of the eight pups from its litter, seven of them died within days of birth.
Despite the odds, our aquarists managed to develop a detailed nutritional diet to ensure its healthy development. The aquarists are monitoring its growth closely and it is doing well.
Dolphin Island welcomed a female calf in January this year, in addition to two calves born in October 2015.
Named Kundali, this newest member joined our pod of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins on 31 January 2016. This brings the total number of births to four, including Ella (female, born 18 October 2015), Chaska (male, born 7 October 2015) and Isabelle (female, born 17 December 2014). Kundali and her mother, Rani, are doing well and will remain in their private pool for nursing and observations as part of essential mother-offspring bonding.
Baby black-blotched stingrays
Two black-blotched stingrays, another threatened species, were born at the S.E.A. Aquarium last December. Found in the waters of Indo-West Pacific, these large stingrays face the threat of unregulated fishing. You can see them up-close and hand-feed them at the Ray Bay marine encounter at Adventure Cove Waterpark.
Baby Banggai cardinalfish
Another endangered species, 150 babies of the Banggai cardinalfish were hatched this year at the aquarium. This strikingly coloured fish is found only at Indonesia’s Banggai islands. They are also known as mouth brooders where the father holds fertilised eggs in his mouth until they hatch.