ATLANTA -- The Dive Operations team atGeorgia Aquarium last week discovered that one of the aquarium's black blotched fantail rays has given birth to five live pups.
The newborns -- two males and three females -- are the first of their kind born in human care in the US, and only the third birth in captivity worldwide.
The young rays are residing in a behind-the-scenes area where veterinarians and zoological operations teams are providing them with care. Four of the pups are about 10-to-11 inches in diameter, while the fifth is about seven inches in diameter.
In a release, the aquarium says the birth is a "testament to the quality of exhibit and animal care practices at Georgia Aquarium as reproduction is an indication of healthy, thriving animals."
Georgia Aquarium currently houses three adult black blotched fantail rays, two female and one male. The female rays are about five feet wide and 400 pounds, while the male is four feet wide and weighs about 125 pounds.