Charlotte The Stingray Rose To Fame For Becoming Pregnant Despite Being The Only Stingray In Her Enclosure

Fernando - - illustrative purposes only, not the actual stingray

Earlier this year, Charlotte the stingray became famous for her mysterious pregnancy. Somehow, she had gotten pregnant even though she was the only stingray in her enclosure. Sadly, she has died due to a rare reproductive disease, according to a North Carolina aquarium.

“We are sad to announce, after continuing treatment with her medical care team and specialist, our ray, Charlotte, passed away today,” Team Ecco Aquarium said. “The Team Ecco family appreciates your continued love and support while we navigate this great loss.”

Charlotte was housed at the Aquarium and Shark Lab by Team Ecco in Hendersonville, North Carolina. She gained national attention after it was announced back in February that she was pregnant. She lived in a tank with two young male sharks.

Initially, the aquarium team speculated that Charlotte may have been carrying a “stingray-shark hybrid.” She even had multiple bite marks on her, which is a behavior of sharks when they mate. However, several scientists quickly dismissed the theory.

They pointed out that such an occurrence was biologically impossible and compared it to the ludicrous idea of a dog and a cat having a baby.

Later, experts said she had likely become pregnant through a process called parthenogenesis, a form of reproduction that does not require a mate, and it can happen with sharks, snakes, and lizards.

Charlotte was believed to have been pregnant with four pups since around November. The exact timeframe for birth was unclear because pregnancy in stingrays of Charlotte’s age was uncommon. It was estimated that Charlotte was about 12 to 14 years old.

The aquarium thought the stingray would give birth sometime in February, but she never delivered any pups. Stingrays typically have a gestation period of four to five months. Clearly, Charlotte was experiencing some kind of health issue.

Concern for Charlotte’s health grew, and questions were raised about the aquarium’s standards for animal care.

Fernando – – illustrative purposes only, not the actual stingray

Sign up for Chip Chick’s newsletter and get stories like this delivered to your inbox.

1 of 2