The evocative name alone gives you an idea of the elegance and majestic appearance of these new residents at the Biarritz Aquarium ! The eagle rays (Myliobatis aquila) were brought from Valencia (Spain) by our aquarium managers and were first placed in the quarantine area so that they could receive the treatments necessary to their acclimatisation (and to give them a few tips on how to smile at the visitors !).
The 4 adult rays (each weighing ten or so kilos and measuring 90 cm in width) were then introduced into the giant pool (1,500 m3) where they met their fellow residents, about thirty sharks representing 7 different species, including blacktip reef sharks, the famous hammerhead sharks and even zebra sharks.
Olivier Briard, who is in charge of the aquariums, told us :
“When we introduce a new species into the pool, we must ensure that the whole process runs smoothly. It is essential that the pool’s balance remains the same. We make sure that all the species are eating according to the requirements of each specimen (quantity and type of feed). The keepers also make sure that no one species takes the upper hand over the others, and, if necessary, we intervene in order to resolve the situation.”
The new inhabitants were warmly welcomed by all their co-residents…
There’s a nice touch to this story, one of the rays gave birth to 5 baby rays during the acclimatisation period : mother and offspring are doing well, although the babies are staying in the quarantine tank to ensure optimum growth before being introduced into the aquarium ! For the moment they measure just 20 cm and weigh 300 g.
Yet more new arrivals at the Biarritz Aquarium !