Stingrays at Gladys Potter Zoo die, electrical malfunction cited as possible cause

Local News

FILE (Source: Gladys Porter Zoo Facebook page)

BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Staff at the Gladys Porter Zoo are investigating the death of their group of stingrays residing at the Stingray Landing at the Russell Aquatic Ecology Center.

According to a release, the ongoing investigation shows that an electrical issue failed to trigger the emergency backup system designed to prevent loss of critical life support for these aquatic animals.

The stingrays were found by staff on January 14.

The system would provide oxygen, filtration and removal of organic waste.

The release mentions that no other tanks were affected.

”At this time, we are moving forward quickly to determine what happened, so we can take steps to ensure this horrific incident is not repeated,” said Dr. Patrick Burchfield in the release. “We are also attending to our aquatic staff, who are devastated by the loss of these beautiful creatures. We hope for a rapid resolution of our thorough investigation and a quick recovery from this tragic occurrence.” 

Veterinary staff at the zoo is also conducting necropsies to determine the exact death of the animals. An independent licensed electrical contractor has also been brought in to determine what caused the malfunction.

The Gladys Porter Zoo is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA).  Zoo officials have been in touch with the AZA Accreditation Commission, and as part of its commitment to meeting the highest standards in animal care and welfare, the Zoo will remain in touch throughout the completion of its investigation. 

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