Have you met Mai? He’s hard to miss as the only walking Manta Ray in S.E.A. Aquarium.
Mai appears twice a day at the Ocean Dome at 2.45pm and 3.45pm to take photos with visitors. With his chubby cheeks, flappy fins, and a cheerful smile, he’s a hit amongst the kids and ladies.
Mai celebrates his first birthday at the Aquarium this June. Let’s find out how he’s doing so far.
Hello Mai, some of our readers are curious. Are you a boy or a girl?
I am a male Manta Ray. We do not use the term “boy” or “girl” because that refers to a male or female human being. Some people say I have a girly name but I think it works both ways.
What do you do at S.E.A. Aquarium?
I am the mascot for Aquarium and the ambassador for my marine friends. I love taking photos with everyone because I wish to make their visit even more special. I also hope that I can help raise awareness of caring for the ocean—where my family and friends call home.
Do you prefer selfies or full-length photos?
Full length photographs. I like all parts of me in frame.
We’ve seen you in many costumes, such as a Santa Hat, a Halloween cape and a Hawaiian shirt. Which is your favourite?
Definitely Santa’s hat. It is simple, classy and it represents my favourite time of the year. I love giving presents, though I mostly give hugs.
Have you been pushed over before?
Yes. Some people get overly excited and they accidentally knock me over when they give me a big hug.
How do you get up afterwards?
Like a fish out of water, it is quite difficult to do so on my own. Thankfully I have my trusty guides and escorts. Friends are very important when you need a helping hand.
Tell us a secret about yourself.
Most people think I am a stingray, but actually I am a manta ray and I have no sting! We are different.
Do you get to go out of the Aquarium often?
Not really because I like being around my friends. But I have appeared at VivoCity and the Singapore Expo before.
You’re one year old this month! What’s your most treasured memory
I had a great time at the Singapore Expo during the SPH SmartKids Asia in March this year. I played football and so many people cheered for me. And the F-17 Football Academy (for kids under 11) almost signed me on. But I would miss my friends at the Aquarium so I declined.
Thanks for your time Mai. Have a great year ahead!