St­ingrays Ali and Mer­lin will be fo­cus of Sea Life events

Bray People - - NEWS -

BRAY Sea Life will cel­e­brate the life of its first ever st­ingray,

Ali, who died re­cently, and cel­e­brate the birth of Mer­lin, the first st­ingray of its kind born in Ire­land, this month.

When Bray Sea Life opened its doors in 1998 one of the first crea­tures in situ was Ali the st­ingray.

How­ever the pop­u­lar at­trac­tion who was the last of the orig­i­nal aquar­ium pop­u­la­tion died re­cently at the age of 21. A short time be­fore Ali’s death Bray Sea Life hit the head­lines with the birth of Ire­land’s first baby Cownose st­ingray – Mer­lin.

This month, from Au­gust 8 to Au­gust 13, Bray Sea Life will host a se­ries of events to re­mem­ber Ali and wel­come Mer­lin.

There will be talks and tours and a spe­cial fam­ily event on Thurs­day, Au­gust 10, at which con­ser­va­tion­ist Pat O’Suil­leab­han will cover Ali’s early years at Sea Life, her im­por­tant role in ma­rine con­ser­va­tion and the five year breed­ing pro­gramme which re­sulted in the birth of Mer­lin, an en­dan­gered species in the wild.

Pat will share the chal­lenges of cham­pi­oning a con­ser­va­tion cause that is un­der-funded, un- der-re­sourced and un­der-val­ued. He will talk about SEA LIFE’s breed­ing pro­grammes, their in­ter­na­tional di­men­sion, the suc­cess sto­ries in Bray and the dis­ap­point­ing set­backs. He will also re­veal de­tails of a project that could safe­guard Co Wick­low’s lo­cal ma­rine en­vi­ron­ment for gen­er­a­tions to come.

Ad­mis­sion to this event is free and the evening will in­clude the nam­ing of ‘Ali’s Bay’. Book­ing is es­sen­tial on 01 286 6939.

Mer­lin, the st­ingray.

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