Charlotte the pregnant stingray

Baby Watch Continues: The World Waits For Charlotte The Stingray To Give Birth

Home / Entertainment / Baby Watch Continues: The World Waits For Charlotte The Stingray To Give Birth

By Melanie VanDerveer on March 17, 2024 at 11:30 AM EDT

She's still pregnant!

Charlotte the stingray, who is mysteriously pregnant, seems to be having a longer pregnancy than many anticipated. While fans from all around the world stay on baby watch, the aquarium shares frequent updates and has even added an Amazon Wish List for anyone who would like to send Charlotte a baby shower or push present.

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Charlotte The Stingray Hasn't Had Her Pup Yet!

Charlotte the stingray
TikTok | Team ECCO

On Saturday, Team ECCO took to social media to share an update on Charlotte's condition and to give a little more insight on the process. After explaining that the offspring of a stingray is referred to as a pup, they went on to give more information about what happens after the pup is born.

"Research has shown that once a stingray gives birth, they do not raise or care for their offspring," an aquarium representative said in the video. "The pups are born fully capable of eating, hunting, and swimming."

Charlotte's pregnancy is the "first documented case of parthenogenesis in a captive California round stingray" so there is no data on how long the pregnancy will last before Charlotte gives birth.

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"We hope to share a better understanding of the gestational timeline once Charlotte delivers and we have DNA results," she continued. "Science requires steady observation and the willingness to be patient."

Charlotte is under observation 24/7. So far, they haven't seen any changes in Charlotte's eating, sleeping, or swimming patterns, and she is still interacting with divers and visitors, especially children.

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Fans Of Charlotte Are Eager To Meet Her Pup!

Charlotte the stingray
TikTok | Team ECCO

Throughout Charlotte's mystery pregnancy, she's gained tens of thousands of fans on social media. Team ECCO's TikTok page currently has more than 600,000 followers with another 386,000 on Instagram.

"I love how this stingray literally regenerated herself and people think she’s taking too long," one fan wrote in the comments of the recent TikTok update video. Another person added, "You're doing a great job covering this experience. Thank you for educating us."

Many people have questions about this odd pregnancy.

"Is it advisable at some point to help her deliver or to deliver surgically? I know it's not common to have this type of pregnancy but when does it become stressful or harmful for mama sting ray to continue carrying the babies?" one person asked on Instagram.

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Another asked, "Do normal pregnant stingrays show behavior changes that you're looking for in Charlotte? It's all so fascinating."

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The Aquarium Recently Shared A Glimpse Of A Sonogram

A few weeks ago, the aquarium shared a peek at a recent ultrasound that Charlotte had done to check on her pregnancy. In the video update, the aquarium shared some important background information to help educate Charlotte's fans.

"Charlotte is carrying one pup for sure," the update revealed. "Charlotte's pregnancy is a unique situation. There is no set precedent on how long a parthenogenetic pregnancy is in this species. Charlotte is the first known documented California round stingray to do parthenogenesis in captivity."

The aquarium will be sharing all the data they collect throughout Charlotte's pregnancy and birth with scientists and aquariums around the world.

"After Charlotte gives birth, the offspring will be separated into a nursery tank," the update continued. "This tank is set to the same environmental parameters as Charlotte's current home."

The aquarium will be separating Charlotte from her pup to allow for close observation by aquarium staff.

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The Aquarium Set Up An Amazon Wish List For Charlotte

Charlotte the Stingray
TikTok | Team ECCO

The aquarium recently set up an Amazon Wish List for anyone who wants to help out the pregnant stingray mama and the aquarium.

Items on the list range from less than $10 up to more than $100. There are 34 different items to choose from - a nursery area rug, filters, algae scraper, gift cards, magnified glass, freeze-dried blackworms, and more.

The list also shares how many of each item are needed and which ones are high-priority items.

It's A Mystery How Charlotte Got Pregnant

Charlotte the stingray
Team ECCO - TikTok

When the aquarium first got wind that Charlotte was expecting, many questions popped up.

They first explained that two scenarios are possible - that she mated with one of the young sharks in her tank, or through a process called parthenogenesis, where the eggs develop on their own without fertilization to create a clone of the mother.

“It’s a once in a bluest of blue moons experience,” aquarium’s founder and executive director, Brenda Ramer said about parthenogenesis with a stingray, according to ABC News 13. “We’re either going to have partho babies, or we’re going to have some kind of potential mixed breed, and we’re waiting for Jeff Goldblum to show up because we are ‘Jurassic Park’ right now!”

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Since then, the aquarium has only discussed the option of parthenogenesis and has been educating everyone on this rare phenomenon while we are all on baby watch.

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