The Toronto Zoo is going ahead with the opening of its stingray exhibit on Friday, even though the mysterious deaths of 35 stingrays at the Calgary Zoo have officials at both zoos scrambling for an explanation.
“It’s a shocking event for the zoo community,” admitted Shanna Young, spokesperson for the local zoo. “This has caught everyone by surprise. We are a strong community and share how they (Calgary) feel.”
Calgary officials are testing the tank water and food supply to try to determine how the stingrays died.
Everything had seemed normal at noon on Sunday. At 1 p.m, the rays lost their appetites and by 3 p.m., they were showing signs of distress. At 4:30 p.m., 26 rays were dead and eight more had died by Monday morning. Another died yesterday.
The zoo says most of the seven stingrays still alive appear to be slowly improving as the wait continues for the results of preliminary water tests. Detailed toxicology tests could take up to two months.
The Calgary exhibit, which opened less than three months ago, remained closed yesterday.