The public has voted and Ireland’s first-ever tropical stingray has a new name – Merlin.
The historic birth took place earlier this year at the National SEA LIFE Centre in Bray following a carefully-orchestrated breeding programme, taking in two pairs of male and female Cownose stingrays four years ago.
Merlin is now 16 weeks old, very healthy and extremely happy.
Following her birth, SEA LIFE Bray called on the public to suggest names for the new baby. Hundreds of schoolchildren from the local area sent in their suggestions, which included ‘Oceania’, ‘Sunshine’, ‘Freckles’ and ‘Ray-Vision’. The list was narrowed down to the top ten and the public was invited to vote. The name ‘Merlin’ was suggested by 10 year old Rory Williams from 4th class in Moneystown National School.
Despite the name conjuring up images of the wizard from Arthurian legend, the public thought it was perfect for the little female, describing it as ‘magical’.
SEA LIFE’s stingrays have only just recently reached sexual maturity, and there was great excitement that there has already been a successful gestation and birth.
Merlin is the first tropical Stingray to be born at the National SEA LIFE Centre and believed to be the first ever born in Ireland.
National SEA LIFE Centre, Bray Managing Director Pat Ó Súilleabháin.
“We think Merlin is a wonderful name and it really suits her. We’re delighted at the huge public response to help us find the right name for her. She’s an energetic little thing and loves to swim round with her Mum, her Dad and her Uncle. She loves visitors, especially children and will come right up to the edge of the tank to say hello.”
The National SEA LIFE Centre in Bray is open seven days a week and is currently running The Stingray Adventure, an exciting trail teaching visitors about how these gracious creatures are related to sharks and how they are oft-misunderstood. See sealife.ie for more information.
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