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(VIRGINIA BEACH, VA) – The Virginia Aquarium is saddened to announce that the newborn spotted eagle ray pup has passed away despite emergency medical intervention and the best efforts of our highly trained staff. The animal, one born in only ten Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA)-accredited facilities worldwide, declined rapidly late Wednesday. Despite lifesaving efforts, staff was unable to revive it. 

“This week we had been providing the spotted eagle ray pup with some nutritional support, which is not uncommon if a pup does not eat vigorously on its own initially. We were pleased with its progress but unfortunately its condition declined rapidly on Wednesday,” said Dr. Allyson McNaughton, veterinarian for the Virginia Aquarium. “The initial necropsy did not demonstrate a definitive cause. We did collect several diagnostic samples, so we are hopeful that those may provide additional information.”