Eagle ray

Source: burgerszoo.nl
Burgers' Zoo rejoices with the birth of the very first eagle ray born in an European zoo. This special birth comes after many years of intensive care for the animals.
The group of eagle rays Burgers’ Ocean consists of two males and four females. The animals inhabit the tropical coral reef aquarium since 2000. The animals were 40-50 centimeters wide at the time. Right from the start, the animals were fed by hand, to make sure that their diet is proper and varied. Even now, the rays are still fed by hand, which may take the caretakers up to an hour. The loving care in combination with the right conditions in the aquarium now bore fruit. After a gestation period of 10-12 months, a young eagle ray was born. The young ray is 40 centimeters wide with its tail measuring over 100 cm. The mother has by now grown to 150 centimeters wide, with her tail grown to 250 centimeters.

Eagle rays are ovoviviparous, which means that after internal fertilization, an egg is laid inside the own body. The young is first nourished by the egg yolk and later on by the uterus. During birth, the young ray is rolled up like a pancake. Nevertheless, the pregnancy of the mother ray had not gone unnoticed. The caretakers have been keeping a close eye on her.