Manitoba

Assiniboine Park Zoo temporarily closes raunchy ray exhibit

The Assiniboine Park Zoo has announced it will temporarily close down a new interactive stingray exhibit just over one month after opening because the diamond-shaped aquatic creatures have been getting injured during a spike in sexual activity.

Winnipeg zoo staff notice some cownose stingrays injured during 'escalation in natural mating' activity

Assiniboine Park Zoo's new Stingray Beach exhibit officially opened on May 16. It temporarily closed Wednesday. (Wendy Buelow/CBC)

The Assiniboine Park Zoo will temporarily close down a new interactive stingray exhibit because the diamond-shaped aquatic creatures have been getting it on with a little too much zeal.

The Winnipeg zoo announced Wednesday it would temporarily shut down the Stingray Beach exhibit because animal care workers have noticed a spike in "natural mating behaviour" that has left some of the cownose stingrays injured.

The move comes just over a month after the 27-stingray exhibit opened to the public.

"This kind of behaviour is observed in wild stingrays as well as those in human care," the zoo said on social media.

"While we have seen some improvement, our animal care team requires the opportunity to provide treatment and observe the stingrays at length."

Dozens of kids were at the grand opening of Stingray Beach in May. (Wendy Buelow/CBC)

Stingray Beach was planned as a temporary exhibit expected to last for at least one year.

The exhibit gave visitors a chance to touch, feed and learn about the animals in a shallow saltwater pool. There are 25 cownose rays and two southern stingrays in the pool.

The zoo hopes to reopen the exhibit soon and plans to provide an update on Friday.

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