Rare Smiling Ray Fish 1st Born At Centre In 20 Years

Story By:  Ana MarjanovicSub-EditorJoseph Golder, Agency: Central European News

An endangered ray fish has been born in a Croatian aquarium for the first time in 20 years and the cute little fellow has been winning over visitors with his beaming ‘smile’.

The thornback ray (Raja clavata) was born on 13th January at Aquarium Pula in the north-western Croatian port city of Pula, the first to be born at a Croatian aquarium for 20 years, and his birth sparked a baby boom that was quickly followed by six other smiling rays.

According to the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the thornback ray is considered ‘near threatened’.


Aquarium staff have named the cute baby ray ‘Lucky’ as he appears to have a smiling face.

Within three weeks of Lucky’s birth, six other rare Thornback rays were born.

Local media said that a total of 22 eggs were fertilised several months ago and Lucky was the first to be born.

The happy ray measured just eight centimetres when he was born.

Aquarium owner Milena Micic told local media: “In recent years, we haven’t had the opportunity or right conditions to take this big step, but today we are thrilled because Lucky and six other small rays came into the world.”

Lucky and his siblings are said to be making good progress and aquarium staff are excited to welcome the new arrivals into the fold.

The thornback ray is found in coastal waters of Europe and the Atlantic coast of western Africa and the Mediterranean Sea coast of North Africa.

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