Stingray That Had Miraculous Pregnancy Dies At North Carolina Aquarium
Shutterstock / Daryl Duda

Stingray That Had Miraculous Pregnancy Dies At North Carolina Aquarium

After a pregnancy of mysterious circumstances created a viral sensation, the famed stingray was announced dead on July 1st.

The female stingray, named Charlotte, had not shared a tank with a male counterpart in over 8 years at the time of her pregnancy. According to the NY Post, the pregnancy had first been announced by the Aquarium and Shark Lab in Hendersonville, North Carolina in February. Charlotte immediately became an internet icon as a result of the unique nature of said pregnancy.

The aquarium shared several theories for how Charlotte could have become pregnant. A male shark was added to the tank last summer, and it was thought that the impregnation of Charlotte may have been the consequence. On another hand, it was theorized that Charlotte may have become pregnant on her own. The aquarium suggested that the stingray may have become pregnant as a result of parthenogenesis, in which eggs develop their own fertilization and create a "clone" of the mother.

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Regardless of the cause, Charlotte's pregnancy took the world by storm earlier this year. The stingray was even mentioned on "Saturday Night Live."

Viral Stingray Dies After Unique Pregnancy

Tragically, Charlotte's pregnancy was terminated in May after contracting a "rare reproductive disease." While the aquarium did all it could in the months that followed, Charlotte never recovered.

The aquarium posted to their Facebook on July 1st that Charlotte had tragically passed. The post mentioned the team had treated Charlotte all the way to the end. In addition, the post also thanked the aquarium's followers for their continued "love and support."

Charlotte's passing is a tragic end to what was such a feel-good story from earlier this year. The stingray, and the aquarium, had garnered such impassioned attention and love in February, immediately following their confirmation of her pregnancy. Sadly though, the circumstances that accompanied the pregnancy were likely to have played a role in Charlotte's passing.

Still, after 8 years of swimming in a tank with no companion, Charlotte's pregnancy will be remembered as miraculously strange.