PHOTOS: Southern Stingray Gives Birth to Two Pups at Brevard Zoo

In a Brevard Zoo first, southern stingray Belle gave birth to two pups on Tuesday. The sexes are unknown at this time. The little ones, named Dallas and Clementine, weighed just under a pound at birth. They are being kept in a smaller enclosure inside the Zoo’s 20,000-gallon Indian River Lagoon-themed tank as protection from larger fish.

“People tend to think all fish hatch from eggs, but that’s not true at all,” said Michelle Smurl, director of animal programs at the Zoo. “Stingrays are born live, although they don’t receive maternal care like mammals.”

Southern stingrays are native to shallow waters in the western Atlantic Ocean. Little is known about this species’ conservation status, but stingrays as a whole are threatened by overfishing, coastal development and climate change.

PHOTOS: © 2018 Brevard Zoo. All Rights Reserved.

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