Birth­day girl eyes up fishy treats

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

A much-ad­mired res­i­dent at Kelly Tarl­ton’s Sea Life Aquar­ium is cel­e­brat­ing her birth­day this month.

Phoebe the st­ingray is a long­stand­ing dweller at the aquar­ium and is mark­ing what staff be­lieve to be her 45th birth­day.

‘‘Phoebe is liv­ing by the adage that a woman never re­veals her age. But based on her growth over the past 28 years she is thought to be 45,’’ aquar­ium cu­ra­tor An­drew Christie says.

Phoebe has a 2.2m span, 3m length and weighs 200kg.

With a size like that she has an ap­petite for good fish.

This month she’ll re­ceive her usual help­ing of her­ring but if she’s lucky she may also get an ex­tra treat in the form of her favourite fish, grey mul­let.

The st­ingray has been with the aquar­ium since it opened in 1985 and has had more than 12 mil­lion vis­i­tors watch her in her repli­cated nat­u­ral habi­tat.

Phoebe gave birth to many pups, one of which re­mains at Kelly Tarl­ton’s as part of a breed­ing pro­gramme to im­prove st­ingray num­bers.

While in­fa­mous for their de­fen­sive st­ingray barbs the fish face dan­ger from hu­mans, en­vi­ron­men­tal changes and nat­u­ral preda­tors alike.

Vis­i­tors can see Phoebe be­ing fed her birth­day lunch at St­ingray Bay at Kelly Tarl­ton’s dur­ing her daily feed­ing times at 11am, 1pm and 3pm.

Yummy: Vis­i­tors can watch Phoebe the st­ingray be­ing fed her lunch at Kelly Tarl­ton’s this month.

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