TAMPA, Fla. – Management at a Tampa-area zoo revealed that 12 of its stingray residents have died and teams are still determining the cause.
In a Facebook post Friday, ZooTampa at Lowery Park wrote, “it’s with heavy hearts we share that today ZooTampa lost 12 residents of Stingray Bay.”
The post went on to say animal care and veterinary teams are examining all the mechanical equipment involved in the salt water tank and testing the water. The initial tests indicate “optimal water quality and conditions.”
The final results of the investigation may take several weeks, according to ZooTampa. In the meantime, Stingray Bay, the home of the rays, will remain closed for several weeks.
“Please keep our team in your thoughts – every professional here loves the animals we care for, and any loss is a difficult one,” the zoo wrote. “Thank you for your support.”
The post by the zoo received hundreds of comments from supporters who shared their memories from the interactive exhibit, which includes being able to reach out and touch the graceful rays.
“This is my son’s favorite place to visit,” Jennifer Goetschius Passman wrote. “He especially loved Brownie. He will be heartbroken, as I’m sure all of the care team is as well.”
Another commenter, Kelly Ann, wrote she was there Thursday when the ailing stringrays were discovered.
“It was amazing to see the care team come in with such urgency to try and save these beautiful creatures,” she wrote.