ORLANDO, Fla. – As families around the world prepare to celebrate Mother’s Day, Discovery Cove® is thrilled to announce the birth of two spotted eagle rays, a threatened marine species which is a part of the Species Survival Plan® (SSP) of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Born April 2nd, the pups are receiving around-the-clock, world-class veterinary care from Discovery Cove’s team.
Spotted eagle rays are in the fish family, recognizable for their flat, wide bodies and unique spotted coloration. Like fingerprints, each spotted eagle ray has its own one of a kind pattern. This is the first birth for proud parents Nerina and Apollo.
Immediately following the pups’ birth, the Discovery Cove veterinary and zoological teams performed a successful neonatal wellness exam, all part of the general health care all animals receive in keeping with Discovery Cove’s high standards of care.
“The work done by zoological facilities like Discovery Cove is critical for the protection of Spotted Eagle Rays and other animal populations worldwide,” said Dr. Candice Dorsey, Senior VP of Conservation, Management and Welfare Sciences at the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA). AZA administers over 500 Species Survival Plan® programs, including one for Spotted Eagle Rays. “Like coral reefs and many other ocean dwellers, Spotted Eagle Rays are a threatened species. AZA-accredited facilities like Discovery Cove are working cooperatively through the SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction program to help save rays from extinction. Discovery Cove is to be commended for its investment in and contribution to research, education, and conservation efforts that help protect and rescue species at risk and their habitats.”
This concern and need becomes even more transparent in the New York Times latest article which goes over the 1500 page report, compiled by hundreds of international experts and based on thousands of scientific studies confirming the overwhelming increase in biodiversity across the globe and the dangers that it creates for all inhabitants of our planet.
Humans are transforming Earth’s natural landscapes so dramatically that as many as one million plant and animal species are now at risk of extinction
AZA’s Species Survival Program oversees the population management of select species to maintain healthy and genetically diverse animal populations within the zoo community and to enhance conservation of the species in the wild. AZA conservation partners that are involved in SSP programs engage in cooperative population management and conservation efforts that include research, public education, reintroduction and field conservation projects.