(CMR) All stingrays in a touch tank at ZooTampa in Florida were mysteriously found dead Thursday morning. Zoo officials are now investigating what lead to the death of the 12 stingrays in a 16,000-gallon saltwater tank, called Stingray Bay, where guests were allowed to touch them.
There were seven cownose stingrays, four southern stingrays, and one Atlantic stingray. Stingray Bay was home to only the rays, and all resided in the same tank with no other species. It’s unclear whether ZooTampa has additional stingrays living offsite, Fox13 News reported.
In a statement, ZooTampa said an animal care team and veterinarians will examine all mechanical equipment involved with the tank and will test the water temperature, quality, oxygen, and pH levels “all of which indicate optimal water quality and conditions.” A toxicology report will also be conducted.
Stingray Bay, which opened in 2001, will remain closed for at least eight weeks during the investigation.