Birthday girl eyes up fishy treats
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.