by: WFLA 8 on your side Employees, Nexstar media cable

Posted: May 28, 2021 / 2:55 PM CDT
Updated: May 28, 2021 / 3:35 p.m. CDT

TAMPA (WFLA) – Officials at a zoo in Tampa, Florida investigate after 12 stingrays died this week.

ZooTampa in Lowry Park announced the deaths on Facebook Thursday night.

“It is with a heavy heart that we announce that ZooTampa has lost 12 residents of Stingray Bay today,” the post said.

According to the Post, the zoo’s animal care and veterinary teams are examining any mechanical devices involved to find out what happened. They also test the water at Stingray Bay. So far, the zoo says all evidence points to “optimal water quality and conditions”.

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Zoo officials say it can take several weeks to get all of the test results. They also found that Stingray Bay is a closed system that only houses rays.

“Please keep our team in mind – every professional here loves the animals we care for, and every loss is difficult,” said the Facebook post. “Thank you for your support.”

The post attracted hundreds of comments, with many people posting photos of family visits to see the stingrays.

“Breaking heartily, this is the only place we have to visit every time,” wrote one person. “Those rays were so cute. I think of the staff who looked after them along the way and hope that they will find some answers. “

“I’m so sorry,” wrote a mother who shared a photo of her son petting one of the rays. “We plan to go there on Sunday and this is my son’s favorite place. He especially loved brownie. He will be heartbroken, as I am sure the entire care team is too. “

Stingray Bay will remain closed for the time being.

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