All twelve stingrays at the Zoo Tampa 16,000-gallon tank were found dead this week. Some personnel had noticed the rays acting a little strange, then, within the hour all of them were dead.
The stingrays were living in a saltwater tank named “The Stingray Bay”, where they resided alone with no contact with other species. However, visitors were able to reach and touch them as part of the exhibit.
The incident prompted to launch of an investigation, which will involve a toxicology report to determine if they were poisoned.
Periodically and regularly, staff will test the temperature, quality, oxygen, and pH levels of the water, in the latest statement, ZooTampa claimed the conditions were ‘optimal’.
The Senior Vice President Of Animal Conservation And Education at ZooTampa Dr. Cynthia Stringfield said to the Newspaper Tampa Bay Times: “We are emotionally exhausted. It’s like a day out of your nightmare, pretty much…We’re really focused on trying to get to the bottom of what happened.”
Following the deaths of the animals, the site will be closed for as many weeks necessary as the investigation is taking place.
Many compare keeping animals in captivity inside zoos to isolation conditions we all feel following COVID-19 restrictions. One of them is the vegan F1 champion, Lewis Hamilton.
On his Instagram, the pilot said: “If you are home on lockdown, perhaps you can feel a little of what the animals in captivity go through every day, their entires lives stopped from them.