A combined team of zookeepers working in the Bush (indoor tropical rainforest) and the Ocean (tropical coral reef aquarium) caught, weighed and measured four South American freshwater stingrays (Potamotrygon motoro) in the caiman enclosure of the Bush this morning. Zookeepers and biologists in Royal Burgers' Zoo (Arnhem, The Netherlands) would like to know whether the weight of the animals is in line with their size.
A female broad-snouted caiman shares the enclosure with seven freshwater stingrays in total. First of all, zookeepers constantly needed to keep a close eye on the reptile. Furthermore, a fence was erected in order to separate the zookeepers from the caiman. Necessary precautions for working safely.
A well-coordinated operation
The combined zookeeper team was well-prepared for their task. Zookeepers working in the Ocean brought their experience in catching saltwater stingrays, whereas zookeepers working in the Bush were familiar with the caiman enclosure and the animals living there. Each team member was assigned a clearly specified task in the process.
Analysis of the obtained data
The collected data - measurements of sizes and weights - of each of the four freshwater stingrays will be further analysed by biologists and zookeepers. Know-how derived from literature together with experience shared by colleagues (both zoos and public aquariums) will help to determine whether the animals are too light, too heavy, or just well-balanced. Depending on the final results of this research, diets might be adjusted, or some details might be altered.
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