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First Giant Manta Born in Captivity Dies

Aquarium officials blame death on the manta’s father.

Posted: June 28, 2007, 2 a.m. EST

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The first giant manta ray born in captivity died after only five days as a result of what aquarium officials are calling an abusive father.

After birth, the female manta was constantly chased and run into by its father. The cause of death is thought to be from injuries sustained after the baby manta was pitched into a wall of the aquarium.

The birth, just five days earlier, was an international news story not only because the ray was the first to be born in captivity, but also because the pregnancy had lasted about a year, causing much anticipation for the birth.

The baby manta came into the world measuring more than 6 feet across its pectoral fins (or wings). The manta was born at the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium in Japan and its birth was even aired on Japanese television.

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Reader Comments

casey    concord, CA

6/3/2010 2:39:13 PM

im pretty suprised that the mother did not defend her baby.. it is sad but now that its happened for the first time im sure it will happen again!

Douglas    Canvas, WV

5/3/2008 6:44:23 AM

The aquarium has suffered a tragic loss, but in "firsts" it is impossible to anticipate everything. Hopefully they can get a chance to try again.

Donna    Centerville, OH

4/16/2008 6:10:29 AM

That must have been neat to watch the birth. I hope they've learned from their mistake if they are lucky enough to bring another through pregnancy. I wonder why they didn't seperate them when the chasing began!

kymmi    new london, OH

12/25/2007 8:27:16 AM


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