Pub­lic de­cides ‘mag­i­cal’ ray to be called Mer­lin

SEAL­IFE’S TROP­I­CAL STINGRAY THE FIRST BORN IN IRE­LAND

Bray People - - NEWS - BY DEB­O­RAH COLE­MAN

THE PUB­LIC has voted and Ire­land’s first-ever trop­i­cal stingray has a new name – Mer­lin.

The his­toric birth took place ear­lier this year at the Na­tional Sea Life Cen­tre in Bray fol­low­ing a care­fully-or­ches­trated breed­ing pro­gramme, tak­ing in two pairs of male and fe­male Cownose stingrays four years ago.

Mer­lin is now 16 weeks old, very healthy and ex­tremely happy.

Fol­low­ing her birth, Sea Life in Bray called on the pub­lic to sug­gest names for the new baby.

Hun­dreds of school­child­ren from the lo­cal area sent in their sug­ges­tions, which in­cluded ‘Ocea­nia’, ‘Sun­shine’, ‘Freck­les’ and ‘Ray-Vi­sion’.

The list was nar­rowed down to the top ten and the pub­lic was in­vited to vote.

The name ‘Mer­lin’ was sug­gested by 10-yearold Rory Wil­liams from 4th class in Moneystown Na­tional School.

De­spite the name con­jur­ing up im­ages of the wizard from Arthurian leg­end, the pub­lic thought it was per­fect for the lit­tle fe­male, de­scrib­ing it as ‘mag­i­cal’.

Sea Life’s stingrays have only just re­cently reached sex­ual ma­tu­rity and there is great ex­cite­ment that there has al­ready been a suc­cess­ful ges­ta­tion and birth.

Mer­lin is the first trop­i­cal Stingray to be born at the Na­tional Sea Life Cen­tre and be­lieved to be the first ever born in Ire­land.

‘We think Mer­lin is a won­der­ful name and it re­ally suits her,’ said Pat Ó Súil­leab­háin man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Sea Life.

‘We’re de­lighted at the huge pub­lic re­sponse to help us find the right name for her. She’s an en­er­getic lit­tle thing and loves to swim round with her mum, her dad and her un­cle. She loves vis­i­tors, es­pe­cially chil­dren and will come right up to the edge of the tank to say hello.’

Sea Life is cur­rently run­ning The Stingray Ad­ven­ture, a trail teach­ing vis­i­tors about how these gra­cious crea­tures are re­lated to sharks and how they are oft-mis­un­der­stood.

Mer­lin, the trop­i­cal stingray, is now 16 weeks old and do­ing well at Sea Life in Bray.

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