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Officials issue ‘truly sad’ update on Charlotte the virgin stingray that got pregnant by herself

Officials issue ‘truly sad’ update on Charlotte the virgin stingray that got pregnant by herself

Fans have been growing concerned about the supposed pregnant stingray

Officials have issued a ‘truly sad’ update on the stingray who somehow got pregnant by herself.

Based in The Aquarium and Shark Lab, run by Team Ecco in North Carolina, US, Charlotte the stingray was able to become pregnant without any mates – a total virgin.

And in recent months, fans have become quite concerned for the sea creature as they had previously believed she was due to give birth ‘any day’. But then they were left waiting high and dry, as there are still no pups to be seen.

The supposed Virgin Mary of the animal world, staff performed an ultrasound back in September after noticing she was growing increasingly swollen.

This found Charlotte was pregnant with four pups, leaving her carers with even more questions because there were no possible dads in her tank.

Experts reckon that a phenomenon, known as parthenogenesis, was the most likely explanation for her pregnancy, which is the scientific term used to describe a virgin birth.

It’s known as a form of asexual reproduction where a female of the species can produce an embryo, despite the absence of sperm fertilising her eggs.

Charlotte the virgin stingray. (Team ECCO)
Charlotte the virgin stingray. (Team ECCO)

And as fans have grown increasingly concerned about Charlotte, with no happy baby news, Team Ecco shared an update on Instagram last night.

It says they ‘regret the delay of updates’ on the now-celebrity stingray’s situation, explaining the time ‘was necessary to gather data and analyse lab and testing results’.

Unfortunately, these didn’t come out so positively.

"These reports were shared with our care team," the experts wrote.

"The reports show that Charlotte has developed a rare reproductive disease that has negatively impacted her reproductive system. The findings are truly a sad and unexpected medical development."

She's supposedly the Virgin Mary of the stingray world. (Team ECCO)
She's supposedly the Virgin Mary of the stingray world. (Team ECCO)

"Our priority is to focus on Charlotte’s health and wellbeing. We will work with, and be guided by, veterinarians and specialists to better understand this disease and the treatment options for Charlotte.

"While the research of this disease is limited, we hope that Charlotte’s case and medical treatment will positively contribute to science and be of benefit to other rays in the future.

"We sincerely appreciate the incredible outpouring of love and support for Charlotte. Please respect Charlotte and her care team as we navigate this unexpected news and work to determine the best path forward. Updates will be given as we are able."

While the team did not specific just what disease Charlotte has, we hope the virgin stingray gets the care that she needs.

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/@teamecco

Topics: Animals, Science, US News, Social Media